Kobe advises 'Melo to carefully weigh decision

Kobe Bryant told Carmelo Anthony to be sure he's leaving for a better situation than Denver

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – As Carmelo Anthony(notes) has debated his future with the Denver Nuggets, he’s sought advice from a player who was in a similar position three years ago.

Kobe Bryant(notes) demanded a trade in the summer of 2007 before the Los Angeles Lakers appeased him by trading for Pau Gasol(notes) midway through the season. Anthony has pushed the Nuggets for a trade this summer, and the team is weighing sending him to the New Jersey Nets. The Nets first want assurances Anthony will sign a contract extension with them before they do the deal.

Bryant’s advice to ‘Melo?

Don’t leave just to leave.

“We’ll see if he signs a reasonable extension and if he’s 100 percent happy that it’s where he wants to go,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports Saturday. “If not, don’t make a move just to get out of the situation. …Make sure it’s a move that you’re very happy in and you’re comfortable with.”

Bryant said he talked with Anthony “a couple days ago” and understood how a move to the Nets would be appealing because of the team’s talented young center, Brook Lopez(notes), and new Russian billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov. The Nets have rebuilt themselves after winning a league-low 12 games last season while the Nuggets lost in the first round of the playoffs one year after falling to Bryant’s Lakers in the Western Conference finals.

“I’m closer to him than anyone else from my Olympic team,” Bryant said. “My advice is to do what he feels is right for him and his family. It starts there. He has to be happy with the situation that he is in because if your heart isn’t where it should be, it could have a half-ass effect. You don’t want that. You can’t please everybody. You just have to do what’s right for you.”