Carmelo Anthony on his role with the Los Angeles Lakers

EL SEGUNDO, Calif .– Nineteen seasons in his NBA career and with many accomplishments to show for his tenure, Carmelo Anthony’s resume would suggest an automatic starring role for the Los Angeles Lakers this season.

However, Anthony, 37, is open to whatever his new team asks of him as he continues to pursue the championship that has eluded him throughout his time in the league.

“At this point, man, all we need to do, let’s do it,” Anthony said after the Lakers’ third day of training camp on Friday. “It’s not …” I can’t sit down “and” Oh, I want to start, “” I want to get off the bench. “Whatever it is, it is.”

Anthony played 69 games for the Portland Trail Blazers last season and only started in three of them. It was the first time in his career, except for the ill-fated 10-game stint he had with the Houston Rockets in 2018-19, when he was primarily used as a reserve.

“I have had experience as a starter for 18, 17 years and have had the experience of being off the bench for a year,” said Anthony. “It’s not something I think about.”

Lakers coach Frank Vogel has said he is still thinking about what roster combinations he will have available to him this season, but has already let Anthony know he will be a necessary piece for LA success.

“When we spoke before he signed here, I told him I was considering a big role on this team,” said Vogel. “I don’t know what it’s going to be like, if he’s going to start, if he’s going to come off the bench, but he’s going to be a factor for us.”

The coach will have to wait and see how Anthony fits into a playing situation. Anthony, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook will all be out of Sunday’s preseason opener against the Brooklyn Nets to rest, Vogel said. . Trevor Ariza, who missed most of training camp with pain in his right ankle, will also be sidelined. Anthony Davis will play, but probably only in the first quarter, the coach said.

But when Anthony does play, there will be minutes for him. Vogel reminded Anthony this summer how to trade Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a 3-point shooter at 41%, and Kyle Kuzma, who shot 36.1% from the depths, depleted LA’s pool of shooters that was already shallow initially. While Anthony played a minimum of 24.5 minutes per game last season, he shot 40.9% out of 3 – his second best score since entering the league.

“We probably won’t talk about it again until we get closer to the regular season,” said Vogel. “But I think he’s going to have a big role in our team.”

Vogel’s communication plan is very good by Anthony. He credited the “clarity” with which his new coach opened the camp as he implements offensive and defensive plans with a roster filled with 11 new faces since last season.

“Whatever he wants, let’s do it,” Anthony said. “I’m not even tripping over it at this point. Because let’s go. Let’s go win.”

As Anthony spoke to reporters, his face showed that his message was not just lip service. His left eyelid was scratched and swollen from a clash with Davis on the training ground, but he laughed at the injury with the same good nature he handles his role in the roster.

“You have to ask Anthony Davis, man. Ask AD. He tried to get me out earlier,” Anthony said clearly jokingly. “Little war wound, that’s all.”

This attitude reflects his appreciation for the game at this point in his career, a career he is not yet trying to set an expiration date on.

“I’m still able to do what I’m doing, man, at a high rate,” he said. “But the # 1 thing, I’m still passionate about it. I haven’t lost my passion. My love for the game is, I think now, at an all time high.”

Lakers president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka has repeatedly cited 44-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady as a prime example of how professional athletes redefine the duration of a bonus. Anthony was asked about Brady’s claim that he could still compete in the NFL at 50 and limit the length of his passion.

“Brady has an offensive line,” he joked. “They’re going to protect Brady. I don’t want to do this. I’m not playing 50, I’ll tell you.”

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