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Kobe says he wouldn't mind playing with 'Melo

By Adam Zagoria, for NBA.com
POSTED: Jan 26, 2014 3:54 PM ET
UPDATED: Jan 26, 2014 4:24 PM ET

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— Less than 48 hours after Carmelo Anthony went off for a Madison Square Garden-record 62 points, the man whose record he broke arrived in town and indicated he wouldn't mind playing with Anthony after the Knicks star hits free agency this summer.

"Well, I mean everybody wants to play in Los Angeles," Kobe Bryant, whose 61-point Garden outing was eclipsed by Anthony's performance against the Charlotte Bobcats, said Sunday before the Lakers played the Knicks. "New York's a beautiful place, don't get me wrong but it's colder than [expletive deleted] out here."

"It's palm trees and beaches obviously are a little more appealing."

Bryant, who is friendly with Anthony and teamed with him on the 2012 Olympic team that won the gold in London in 2012, said he'd be happy to offer "advice" when the time comes.

"If he wants to come for advice later as a friend I'll be more than happy to give it to him," said Bryant, who remains out with a fractured left knee and gave no update on his timetable for a return.

Anthony has said both that he will opt out after this season and that he will "retire in New York."

He could sign a a five-year deal with New York worth $129,135,806, whereas if he signs with another team, the most he can make is $95,897,372 over four years.

"All jokes aside, I think that players, when that time comes, will have to make the best decisions for them and their families," Bryant said.

Bryant also said that all scorers -- Anthony, himself and Michael Jordan included -- needed to win a championship in order to validate themselves as a winner instead of just a scorer.

Anthony has never won an NBA title, and the Knicks certainly don't appear in danger of winning one at this stage.

"I mean the only way to do that is win, I mean that's it," Bryant said. "I won five championships...You just gotta kind of take it in. The important thing is winning a championship.

"That's the only way to shake it. That's the only way Michael shook it. That's the only way any top scorer can shake it."

Anthony has been openly frustrated about the Knicks' poor start, but has insisted he hasn't gone to a "dark place" yet and that the Knicks can still turn things around with their current roster.

"From a psychological perspective as a player, you don't want to get too frustrated about things that you can't control," Bryant said. "So you have to find that balance. At the same time, it's important for the organization to understand the level of competitiveness that you have, that you won't tolerate having a team that's not in contention for an NBA championship, which is what I did and it rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, but sometimes you gotta kick down a few doors and piss some people off and trust that it will pay off in the long run.

"And if you're willing to do that, more times than not you'll be OK."

Asked if Anthony might have to sacrifice his "ego" in order to blend in with stars on another team with championship potential, Bryant said that is necessary when any group of stars join forces.

"I mean, that's a familiar story with LeBron James," he said. "He seemed to turn out OK."

Asked about the grief James took when he first left Cleveland for Miami, Bryant said, "That's the nature of the beast. This is what we do. When you're successful and you win, you're great. And then the next season, it's forgotten and you lose that season and you're worse...This is what we do. You gotta take the good with the bad."

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