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Bulls are best career move for Melo

CHICAGO -- Eleven years ago, we were crowded into a downtown Chicago hotel conference room to meet the future millionaires of the National Basketball Association.

The 2003 draft would turn out to be the best one since 1984, and we knew then this was a special group.

Naturally, LeBron James, the most famous high school student in the country, had his own press conference the next day.

One remembers a young Carmelo Anthony, the biggest star in the room in James' absence, wearing a long white T-shirt, as was the style at the time, and a watch he claimed, if memory serves, cost $80,000.

When he was asked if he was comfortable about going No. 3 to Denver, Anthony replied, "I think I should go one, but things happen."

As if the Cleveland Cavaliers would bypass Akron's finest for anyone. But you had to respect Anthony's attitude. Why settle for No. 2? (Or No. 3, if you count Darko Milicic.)

James was the no-brainer No. 1 and he became a mega-star, a two-time champion and a polarizing face of the league as he moved from his hometown to Miami.

Meanwhile, Anthony, polarizing in his own regard, built a reputation as a pure scorer, perhaps the best in the league this side of Kobe Bryant. His trade from Denver to New York brought some success, but his experience as a big-market one-man show has been nothing likes James' run.

James and Anthony are good friends, but there's nothing that the NBA loves more than a rivalry.

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