Trail Blazers: The two players Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James made a pact to destroy

Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Team USA (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Team USA (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images) /

Baffled over their lack of playing time in the 2004 Olympics, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James made a pact to destroy the two players starting ahead of them.

On a star-studded edition of the UNINTERRUPTED: We Run This Station, Portland Trail Blazers forward and Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony joined WNBA legend Sue Bird, businessman Maverick Carter and host Paul Rivera.

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The four discussed everything under the sun. As it relates to Anthony, he went into detail about his experiences with Michael Jordan (and becoming the first signature shoe athlete in Air Jordan history), The Last Dance, and how athletes should walk the line between playing and being activists, his ambage through “rock bottom” before finding peace in Portland, and then the topic for today.

Despite just a single season under his belt, Anthony, alongside fellow 2003 NBA draftees LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were selected to be a part of a talented, yet controversial core that represented the United States at the 2004 Olympics.

In a hilarious story, Anthony detailed how co-captain Allen Iverson and Amar’e Stoudemire were ruled “late” to a 7:00 p.m. team meeting —they showed up at 6:58 —and were suspended. Anthony and his young teammates were under the impression that they were going to play. Instead, they rode the bench, as Team USA got steamrolled by Puerto Rico, 92-73. The stars playing ahead of them?

Richard Jefferson and Shawn Marion.

Carmelo Anthony said on the show that he and LeBron James made a pact from that day forward that they would destroy Jefferson and Marion when they saw them the following year.

"“We made that pact. It was just like, what? They playing in front of us, really? That was me and LeBron’s mentality.  But then, we used to go to practice, and in practice, that was our games. Like, we used to huddle up before practice and be like, ‘Yo listen. Let’s go to war. We want the smoke today. Like, if they ain’t ready to play today, it’s on.”"

Perhaps it’s a straw-grasp, but out of curiosity, I wondered if that “vow” suffused into the regular season for years to come. There’s a chance it did; in 28 games against Marion, Anthony averaged 23.0 points per game and 7.5 rebounds on a noteworthy 46-43-80 percent slash line. Against Jefferson, Carmelo Anthony wasn’t as brilliant —22.0 points and 5.4 rebounds on 42-38-77 —but it certainly fits the criteria of wanting the smoke. At the very least, he each of them in that following season.

It became one of the many little-discussed chapters of James and Anthony’s friendship. On this same show, Anthony discussed that in more detail, in how he went through a string of award snubs in successive years. First, he was overlooked for the NCAA Player of the Year award, an honor that went to T.J. Ford of Kansas. The chatter was, the award simply wasn’t given to freshmen.

And then in Denver, Anthony went on claim a dubious honor, the only player to win the Rookie of the Month for every month of the season, and not win Rookie of the Year. “I swear I thought we was getting co-Rookie of the Year. We talked about that at that point in time.”

Regardless, Anthony went on to enjoy a successful, 17-year career, and one that will without question end with a Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement, sometime after he hangs it up for the final time.

Next. Three things the Trail Blazers can learn from "The Last Dance.". dark

The rest of the interview deserves a listen, too. You can find the rest of the episode here.