Carmelo Anthony regrets not listening to Dwyane Wade about aligning deal with him, LeBron James and Chris Bosh

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Carmelo Anthony is now expressing regret that he ignored Dwyane Wade’s suggestion to accept a three-year extension so that he could enter free agency together with Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh in 2010.

Chris Herring of Sports Illustrated looked back on Anthony’s 19-year career and noted how the superstar’s decision to sign a five-year extension with the Denver Nuggets ran counter to his close friend’s suggestion.

“There were moments in his career that easily could have flipped the script,” Herring wrote. “During the summer of 2006, while he was training with fellow Team USA players and draft class members LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Anthony chose to sign a five-year, $80 million maximum extension with the Nuggets, a choice that ran counter to the shorter, three-year deals those players were signing so they could later all test free agency simultaneously. ‘My memory of that is that I called Mel like right as he was sitting down to sign his deal,’ Wade says, ‘and by then, it was too late.’

“Anthony remembers it similarly, and says he now wishes he’d considered the upside of agreeing to a shorter deal at the time. ‘The only regret I’ve got there is not being intelligent enough about the business of the game,’ he says. ‘I got that call from [Dwyane] saying, ‘Take the three-year deal; we’re all doing that,’ and I’m like, ‘Do you know where I’m from, man?’ Like, I’m happy, bro. I’m cool with Denver.'”

Had Anthony followed Wade’s advice, he quite possibly could have joined the trio of Wade, James and Bosh in 2010 for the most magical era in Heat history. During the four years the trio was together, the Heat won the Eastern Conference title each year and NBA championships in both 2012 and 2013.

Instead, Anthony continued to play for the Nuggets until February 2011, when he was traded to the New York Knicks. While Anthony enjoyed a bigger spotlight with his new team, he was unable to lead it to a championship.

In later years, Anthony’s basketball career began to fade and resulted in him playing for five different teams during his final six seasons.

The last of those teams for Anthony was the Los Angeles Lakers, where he played with James. Prior to James joining the Lakers, he and Wade briefly reunited to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Wade’s idea obviously never came to fruition, but Anthony may have been spared of the intense criticism that James received for leaving the Cavaliers. Yet, by joining the Heat, James achieved his main goal in being part of a championship team, something that eluded Anthony.

The bond between James, Anthony and Wade was really forged in 2003 when the trio, as well as Bosh, was among the top five picks in that year’s draft. They’ve remained close over the years, with Bosh and Wade having retired already.

Anthony recently joined them in retirement.

Given the success enjoyed by the Heat with James, Wade and Bosh, it’s hard to say how much adding Anthony would have enhanced the team. However, it’s an interesting potential situation that could spark debates about whether that unit could have become the greatest team ever.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.