Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 5/11/12

Now that the series is over between the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony can go back to being friends. The two NBA superstars have known each other for a long time, and while they’ve built a solid rivalry over the last couple years, off the court, they’re best buds.

"It's always special any time we are on the court together period, the All-Star Game or the Olympics or the first time competing in the postseason," James said. "He's one of the best friends that I have. It was great to finally go through a playoff series against him. He's one of the best players we have in this league and one of the biggest competitors we have in this league."

The Miami-N.Y. series wasn’t the drawn out, 7-game slugfest that everyone was hoping for. The Heat made relatively quick work of the Knicks and even though we saw some inspired efforts from Anthony, he’s still stuck in LeBron’s shadow. The emulation of the “Big 3” in New York isn’t paying the same dividends as the one in Miami and Melo’s career accomplishments don’t really measure up to LeBron’s. Despite the clear disparity, when the two of them are on the court together, they rise to another level of competition.

"They've been running into each other for a long time," said Dwyane Wade about the two. "You can see it on both of their faces, they love it, the competitive nature of them both. As a teammate, I enjoy it because I know Melo is going to push LeBron, he's going to challenge him and you need that.”

The Knicks may still be a few solid moves away from competing with the top teams in the East, but if they get there, the Melo-LeBron rivalry is something that everyone would enjoy watching for years to come. The fact that they’re friends, only makes it more fun to watch.

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