Former NBA player Royce White blasted LeBron James and the Lakers for signing Jared Dudley instead of Carmelo Anthony.
White, a former 16th overall pick who played in three NBA games, wasn't holding back as he claimed "Melo is absolutely being blackballed." White started his rant by defending Anthony.
"He's giving too much to the game for them not to allow him to play or for them to culturally just make a decision or an agreement that he's not good enough any more," White said during an interview with ESPN. "All of us here who have played a game at the highest level know how good Melo is and we know that there's no way that the Lakers would go out and sign Jared Dudley and not sign Carmelo Anthony."
White went on to question James' leadership and why the star didn't try harder to get the Lakers to sign Anthony in free agency.
"Another question is why a guy like LeBron is walking around here like he's the face and voice of the players — how is he letting his banana boat buddy wait out there in the wings? And they go sign Jared Dudley and not Carmelo," White said.
"If anybody watching this thinks that Jared Dudley can hold Carmelo Anthony’s jock strap, I’ll slap you."
Dudley, who signed with Los Angeles after playing one season with the Nets, caught wind of White's comments. He responded to the video by writing on Twitter: "This isn’t Melo vs myself, That man is a 1st ballot HOFer.. We all want to see him back in the league.. Royce seems uniformed when he speaks and this situation in calling my name out. This league is not about who’s better then who it’s what’s players make for the best Team."
Anthony, 35, started his career with the Nuggets, then spent seven seasons with the Knicks and one with the Thunder before he had an unceremonious exit following a 10-game stint with the Rockets early last season. Houston ended up trading Anthony to the Bulls in January, and Chicago immediately released him.
Despite his absence from the court, Anthony said earlier this month on ESPN's "First Take" that he's still "in the gym every single day." He also noted "silence is not my surrender" and that he needed to quietly step away from the game to "reevaluate myself, reevaluate my career, reevaluate my life."