Carmelo Anthony has played with a lot of NBA legends in his career. Allen Iverson, James Harden, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Paul George...these are just some of the names Anthony is now putting Damian Lillard ahead of.
“Dame’s at the top for me,” Anthony told Yahoo Sports. “I’ve never played with someone who lifted his team on the court with his play and as a leader. He genuinely cares for his teammates. What he’s been able to do is amazing. He’s the top guy I’ve played with.”
This is high praise from a 10-time NBA All-Star, six-time All-NBA player and the 2012-13 NBA scoring champ. Anthony has also played on several Olympics teams, though he's limiting his praise to actual NBA teams, not All-Star squads and Dream Teams.
Still, it's a huge compliment. And Anthony knows some of the guys Lillard will be compared against.
“[Iverson] was on the tail end at that point,” Anthony continued to Yahoo Sports. “I’ve played with some great players, but the way Dame elevates his game and others, he’s at the top.”
Lillard has certainly elevated his game in the NBA bubble, averaging 37.6 points and 9.6 assists while shooting 43.6% from beyond the arc. Anthony, meanwhile, is averaging 15.4 points in 32.8 minutes per game as a 35-year old in Portland this year.