Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony has no idea who will be this year's NBA Finals champion. However, the 37-year-old is happy to see the playing field has relatively evened out between the remaining teams.
"It's just so up and down. One day you will be like, 'Oh, this team gonna win it.' And then the next day it's like, 'Oh no, this team.' So it's just all over the place right now in a good way," he told Yahoo Sports.
Of course, professional basketball players watch games a lot differently than fans and even analysts.
"I mean, you have teams like Phoenix, who went to the Finals last year, so you can't keep those guys out," the 19-year vet continued. "Milwaukee is the team to beat. You gotta really beat the champs to be the champs. And I don't think that's going to be an easy out for anybody. And if you look at the Eastern Conference right now, those are four powerhouse teams."
When asked which team he predicts will lift the Larry O'Brien Trophy next month, Anthony didn't give a straight answer.
"If you ask me this another two weeks from now, I'll have an answer for you," he joked.
Reflecting on his draft and advice for incoming rookies
As of this season, the only remaining active players from the 2003 NBA draft class are Anthony and his fellow Lakers teammate LeBron James. Heading into the draft next month, the Syracuse product reflected on his own draft day nearly two decades ago and provided advice for the incoming rookies.
"I don't want to sound too cliche, but you have to embrace these moments," the 2003 NCAA champion told Yahoo Sports. "You have to embrace this moment of being drafted. And I don't say that too lightly because the experience of going from a boy to a man is quick.
"In less than 30 seconds, your life has changed. Those are things that you're not gonna be able to fathom at that moment. You know, those are things that it takes time for you to realize like, 'OK, I'm here.' The excitement of hearing your name, getting your hat, getting your team jersey, the team's calling you, friends, family. After all that, it's like, 'OK, it's go time now.' In that moment, before it's go time, I want you to really embrace it and really enjoy it. I wished I would have taken more pictures at my draft. I wish I had a camera to document everything behind the scenes, because it was just a very special moment."
Anthony, a luminary partner for Moët & Chandon, the official champagne of the NBA, explained why he loves working with the brand for special moments.
"We all know what Moët is about and what they like to celebrate. Whether small or large, regardless of what it is, I just thought partnering with the brand made sense. You know you get to celebrate with Moët, so you look forward to the locker room after winning the game," he said.
Moët & Chandon is in its second year of its partnership with the NBA, which brings together two iconic brands with a shared history of excellence. Whether opening a bottle when your favorite team wins or mixing up cocktails for guests at your watch party, Moët & Chandon provides responsible ways to enjoy all NBA occasions.