The picture of Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and other NBA stars in a boat wearing banana suits has been making the rounds on social media. But why is it even there?

The lebron banana boat is a picture of Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony getting into a boat. It has caused controversy because many people believe that the two players are racially insensitive.

Several teams have captured the attention of fans across the world throughout NBA history. Some teams have just been legendary, from Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls to LeBron James’ Miami Heat and even Stephen Curry/Kevin Durant’s Golden State Warriors. However, one of the most famous teams of all time, the Banana Boat Crew, never actually played a game together.

The Banana Boat Crew is made up of James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade, who were all photographed on a banana boat together in 2015 while on vacation. Many people overlook the fact that Anthony was not aboard the boat or in the photograph.

So, why was he overlooked? The NBA great just explained why he was not included in the famed photograph.

Spoiler alert: He’s still as perplexed as the rest of us.

The Banana Boat Crew’s beginnings

LeBron James came coming off an NBA Finals appearance with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2015 summer, his fifth consecutive trip to the championship series and his sixth overall. Dwyane Wade, on the other side, had just completed his 11th straight All-Star season, while Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony had also just completed All-Star seasons.

Given the pressures of running a business, the four players wanted a break, and they decided to take a trip to the Bahamas together.

During the trip, though, a picture of James, Paul, Wade, and Wade’s wife, Gabrielle Union-Wade, all riding a banana boat went viral. It went viral on the internet, and since Anthony was also on vacation with them, people started referring to them as the Banana Boat Crew.

But why wasn’t Anthony included in the photograph? He recently offered some explanations for why this was the case.

Carmelo Anthony explained why he didn’t go on the banana boat.

Three of the four Banana Boat Crew members, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, and Chris Paul.

Three of the four Banana Boat Crew members, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, and Chris Paul. On Sept. 10, 2008, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, and Chris Paul attended a cocktail reception for the LeBron James Family Foundation. | WireImage/Jamie McCarthy for Polo Ralph Lauren

Former NBA player Matt Barnes recently interviewed Anthony on All The Smoke, and questioned him about how the Banana Boat Crew came to be.

On the August 19 episode, Anthony stated, “I wasn’t on that f—ing banana boat, dude.” “… I arrived late for my trip. So, while I’m on my way to the yacht on a tender, I spot them in the banana boat. ‘What the f— are they doing?’ I’m wondering to myself. I’m not going to go on no s— like that.”

Okay, so Anthony may not have been in the picture due to bad timing. However, as previously said, he quickly discovered that the internet automatically grouped him with his pals. He became an honorary member of the Banana Boat Crew, effectively making him guilty by association.

“The following day, there’s a photo of ‘the Banana Boat Crew’ that’s all over the place. But I’m not even there. I whizzed by that s—. He replied, “I’m not even going to go on that s— with my kid.”

Although Anthony wasn’t in the picture and has said that he would never go on a banana boat, he is still a member of the crew — aka one of the most famous teams in NBA history.

The Banana Boat Crew is one of the most well-known NBA teams.

Because James and Wade were on the same team in Miami for four years (and for part of a season in Cleveland), Paul and Anthony were together for a short time in Houston, and James and Anthony will soon play together in Los Angeles this season, the Banana Boat Crew never played an actual NBA game fully assembled. But it would have been amazing if they had all joined together.

James is a four-time MVP, four-time champion, and four-time Finals MVP, making him one of the NBA’s GOATs. The 17-time All-Star is also third in NBA history with 35,367 total points and ninth with 9,696 assists. 

During his career, Wade, on the other hand, was undoubtedly one of the best shooting guards in NBA history. He was named to the All-Star team 13 times, won three NBA titles, and was named Finals MVP in 2005-06.

Paul has also been one of the greatest point guards in NBA history, earning 11 All-Star appearances, leading the league in assists four times, steals six times, and ranking in the top five in both assists (10,275) and steals (six times) (2,332). 

Finally, during his peak, Anthony was one of the best scorers the NBA had ever seen. He even led the NBA in points per game in 2012-13, and his 27,370 career points rank him in the top ten in NBA history (12th in NBA/ABA). He’s also been named to ten All-Star teams in his career.

Three of these four stars are still building to their legacies right now (everyone but Wade). They’ll make it from the banana boat to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in no time. They’re all legends in their own right.

Basketball Reference provided the statistics.

Before facing Carmelo Anthony in the 2009 Western Conference Finals, Kobe Bryant had a two-word message for him.

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