Photo: Complex

Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James finally teamed up in the NBA after Melo joined the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent this offseason. The friendship between the two players goes a long way, but it took 18 years as professionals for the team to finally join forces.

In a recent interview, Anthony talked about how his friendship with James started and how it remained strong until this point. Despite their duels on the court, they always remained close outside the court, he says.

Via A. Sherrod Blakely of EBONY:

“We go back (to when we were) 15, 16 years old. We never had to force anything—a conversation, being around each other. It just happens so organically with us. We put an oath up, no matter what happens, we would never let any outsiders come between us and put any BS in our friendship. I could knock your head off on the court; you could knock my teeth out on the court. It don’t matter. When we get outside that rectangle, we’re brothers— no matter what anybody says. And, we stood on that. And to this day, we stand on that. Nobody will break that bond.”