By Miki Turner
Special to Page 3

DENVER -- The sky was bright blue and there was a slight breeze in the July air. The purple tips of the Rocky Mountains dotted the landscape. It was the perfect setting for "A Melo Evening," a recent fund-raiser for the Family Resource Center hosted by Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony and his fiancée, MTV personality LaLa Vasquez.

Carmelo Anthony and LaLa Vasquez
Melo and LaLa, one of sports and entertainment's hottest couples.
At the home of a high-profile Denver couple, local media descended upon Anthony in the back yard. And although Anthony and Vasquez went their separate ways, their eyes never strayed far from each other. He held up his glass to toast her while watching an artist capture his likeness on canvas for the auction, and Vasquez, standing with her mother, smiled and waved back.

Clearly, this was a match made in NBA/MTV heaven.

After making their way through the throngs of people, including Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe, sipping cocktails and exchanging pleasantries, the couple sat down with Page 3 to chat about their relationship, the grueling NBA schedule and their different personalities.

1. How did you meet and where?

LaLa: He was stalking me for a while. That's how we met. He kept asking everybody about me, right?
Melo: No.
LaLa: We met through DJ Clue, a mutual friend that I work with on TV. So you asked him about me. You did ask him about me! Melo: I wasn't stalking you. LaLa: But you asked him about me and then he kept telling me that Melo wanted to meet me. Then he introduced us. We were just friends for a while and then, it just kind of progressed from a friendship into a relationship.

2. So, was it love at first sight?

LaLa: When I met him, he had girls all over him! Remember that?!

Melo, what was it about her that made you want to meet her?


Melo: Her eyes.
LaLa: Oh my gosh, that's so embarrassing. You've never said that before!
Melo: They're chameleon.
LaLa: Yeah, you did say that before.

3. OK, it wasn't love at first sight, but how long were you friends?

LaLa: We were friends for a while. I mean we knew there was some sort of attraction, but we didn't act on it right away.
Melo: We were friends for a month.

4. How did you know he was the right one and how did you know she was the right one?


Melo: We had our ups and downs and our ins and outs. But we stuck by each other through those times and we're still hanging out.
LaLa: Yeah, definitely. Our personalities go together because I'm really outgoing and he lives up to his name, being a very mellow type of person. So, it kind of balances out and I'm always like, "Why don't you show any emotion?" But I guess if there was two of me, that would be kind of hectic, so, it kind of balances out.

5. What's the most romantic thing you've done for her and vice-versa?

Melo: I took her to Mexico -- to Cabo.
LaLa: That was romantic.
Melo: Last summer.
LaLa: Last summer and my birthday had just passed. He got a hotel room and put flowers everywhere in the shape of hearts. It was really, really, really nice and I was surprised! That was really special to me. It was just when we got engaged. That was probably the biggest thing. I was totally caught off guard. I was going to bed thinking I wasn't getting any gifts. Well, he got me a pair of pajamas, and I'm not ungrateful, but I was thinking, "Is this all I'm getting? Just one pair of pajamas? This can't be right!"

But, right before I went to bed, he popped the big question.

6. How far along are you in your wedding plans? Is it still a ways off?

LaLa: We're in the beginning stages right now. We're deciding on wedding planners and just know that we want to do it in Vegas. But we're still deciding on the hotel. Right?
Melo: [laughs] Sure.
LaLa: I guess I'm in control of this whole situation.
Melo: No, you're not!
LaLa: We're in the beginning stages. We are doing it in Vegas.
Melo: We haven't decided yet.

7. What would be the ideal honeymoon for you?


Melo: We don't know yet.
LaLa: Somewhere hot. And just away where we can just enjoy each other and don't have to worry about being bothered. Not that we mind, but everybody just likes their personal time. So, somewhere far away where it's really secluded -- more for his sake than mine -- so that we have the freedom to just relax.

8. How do you balance your two high-profile careers, particularly during basketball season?

LaLa: It's pretty difficult, but at the same time, I'm a pretty avid believer of making time for what's important to me. He's important to me so I arrange my schedule around [the season].
Melo: I didn't know that. I didn't realize I was important.
LaLa: Whatever! He's super important so he works it out. During basketball season I can't put too much pressure on him. It's not like he can miss a game to come hang out with me, so it's more of me having to change things and come to where he is and be in Denver more often. His schedule is not going to allow him to take off and come hang out for a while.

9. How do you handle the groupies?

LaLa: I think I deal with it a little more than he does. I mean everybody's here for a reason. I guess groupies do what they do, but I do what I do so I don't really pay too much mind to it. I know it comes with the territory of being an athlete and I guess it's kind of flattering to see so many people who want to get close to him, but I still know he's coming home with me every night.
Melo: I don't deal with groupies with her just for the simple fact I'm not insecure. I just roll with it.

10. Who wins in H-O-R-S-E?

Melo: I do.
LaLa: Not every time!
Melo: I win in H-O-R-S-E. Every time.

Carmelo Anthony is among 15 NBA and WNBA players teaming up for "Wheel of Fortune" during the game show's NBA week, airing Oct. 31-Nov. 4, to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Miki Turner is a segment producer for ESPN Hollywood and can be reached at Miki.P.Turner.-ND@espn.com.