Why LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony could never get aligned until now

  • ESPN.com NBA writer since 2010
  • Covered Cleveland Cavs for seven years
  • Author of two books

The front page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s sports section on Nov. 5, 2003, was designed with an old-fashioned boxing poster theme. In the same style in which “Ali vs. Frazier” would’ve splashed across a page under a banner reading “Clash of the Titans,” it showed dramatic poses of Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James.

The tagline read: “Rivalry Begins Tonight!”

In James’ first home game as a Cleveland Cavalier that night, the front row resembled a major heavyweight fight as Nike founder Phil Knight, Jay-Z and Ken Griffey Jr. sat side by side.

All these years later, James and Anthony are teammates with the Los Angeles Lakers. It might seem like it was inevitable because of their long-standing relationship. But that isn’t the case.

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