When TNT courtside reporter Craig Sager showed up in his typical tacky toupee and a hideous purple suit on the West All-Star bench Sunday night in Los Angeles, Carmelo Anthony looked terrified.
Luckily, Melo had the reigning King of LA in his corner.
Melo was less afraid of Sager’s horrifying fashion sense, and more dreadful of the questions he knew were coming.
“Time for the daily update on Carmelo Anthony’s situation. What have you been doing this weekend?” asked Sager as Melo tried to watch the live All-Star Game. “Rumors aside, truth; have you met with the Knicks, have you met with the Nets with weekend?”
Kobe Bryant threw his arm around Anthony and said in no uncertain terms, “He’s not allowed to answer that question.”
Sager shot back with an immediate, “Why not?”
Followed by Bryant standing up for good friend Melo against a bullying courtside reporter, “Because I said so, big brother said so,” offered Kobe. Bryant, who was hosting the last LA All-Star Game of his distinguished career, finished with, “Enough of that talk.”
The ever-mellow Carmelo tried desperately to turn the attention back to the game at hand, back to an NBA All-Star contest that was playing out live just a few feet from the unfortunate impromptu interview. “Let’s talk about this game,” laughed Anthony. “Let’s talk about this weekend. Let’s talk about having fun.”
Undaunted, Sager pressed on with different versions of the same question. Each time, Kobe reminded Craig that this was his house, and that Sager was just a passing visitor. “He’s not allowed to answer that question,” state Kobe again and again.
New Orleans guard Chris Paul, down the bench just to Melo’s left, came in with a killer quip, “He’s going back to Syracuse,” referring to Melo’s NCAA Championship year with the Oranegmen. ”He’s got three years of eligibility left. He’s going back to Syracuse.”
And just like that, as Kobe, Melo and Chris laughed away, Sager was banished back to the production room from whence he came. Bryant knew that he was king of this court, and Kobe flexed necessary muscle to save Anthony from another round in the constant media barrage that has defined the ongoing Melo Drama.
Meanwhile, the truth is that Carmelo did meet with representatives from both the Knicks and the Nets over All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles. As sports fans look on, and as Sager and his craven media ilk salivate over every juicy tidbit, the Nuggets and Knicks have come to a trade agreement sending Carmelo Anthony to New York City.
Learn more about the fashion train wreck that is Craig Sager.