With the New York Knicks seemingly emerged from the dark days of the last decade, some fans have come to terms on embracing Carmelo Anthony, a 10-time All-Star, and all he contributed to the franchise.
And the feeling, as it has always been, is mutual between the 37-year old and the Big Apple faithful.
In a recent guest appearance on All the Smoke, Anthony looked back on his Knicks tenure, and only had good things to say about those seven-odd years.
The future Hall of Famer left New York after 412 appearances from 2011 to 2017. He averaged 24.7 points, seven rebounds, 3.2 assists, and a steal over that span.
Anthony: ‘No Better Place in the World’
Co-hosts Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, both longtime NBA veterans, asked Carmelo Anthony about multiple low and high points from his career.
When they got to his being traded to the New York Knicks in 2011, he explained the feeling that is winning basketball games in Madison Square Garden:
There wasn’t nothing like it. I tell people all the time. You ain’t seen nothing or experienced nothing until you’re in The Garden when it’s rocking. When it’s rocking, there’s no better place in the world to be in. For me, that’s home for me every night.
Anthony also made sure to detail the struggles that come with not winning on the world’s biggest basketball stage:
But on the flip side of that, I had to perform because they’re going to let you know. Especially me. ‘We gave away the whole team for you.’ If they’re going to give away the whole team, you’ve got to come in and ball. So I embraced that and I wanted that pressure.
He and the Knicks made the playoffs in his first two seasons, and won a first-round series against the Boston Celtics in the second year.
Anthony called that series “one of the biggest moments” from his time in New York, and more than that his own “championship.”
The six-time All-NBA forward averaged 28.8 points and 6.6 rebounds over the six-game series, his last playoff appearance with the New York Knicks.
But don’t yet rule out a reunion between Anthony and the team that will likely one day retire his number seven jersey and hang it in the rafters at MSG.
It almost came to fruition this offseason.
Anthony Opted for Lakers Over Knicks in Free Agency
Once free agency opened, the already-rumored mutual interest in a reunion between Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks only intensified.
ESPN’s Jordan Schultz reported it:
NBA insider Marc Stein followed up that report with his own, saying Anthony’s decision had come down to two teams: New York and the Los Angeles Lakers:
As fans no doubt know, he did end up signing on to play with his close friend LeBron James, but only on a one-year deal.
Expect the rumors of his homecoming to the New York Knicks to ramp back up once the season ends.
Carmelo Anthony is 37 years old. He’s still got some years left, but most expect the final of those to take place under the roof of Madison Square Garden.