Former Knick on Returning to MSG: ‘That Love Is Different’

Carmelo Anthony Knicks

Getty Carmelo Anthony waves to the crowd at Madison Square Garden during a 2019 game between the New York Knicks and Miami Heat.

At this point, Carmelo Anthony has played for six different teams over an NBA career spanning nearly two decades. Moreover, it has been four-plus years since the New York Knicks traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder in September of 2017.

In spite of the time that has passed, though, as well as all the things he has seen and done and all the buildings he has played in over the years, Anthony maintains that there’s still no place like home. And for him, home is Madison Square Garden.

On Tuesday, the Knicks (9-8) will play host to Anthony’s Los Angeles Lakers (9-9) in a battle of teams looking to free themselves from the clutches of mediocrity. However, where Anthony is concerned, the game isn’t just about the current storylines.

It’s about standing on that court, hearing the organ and being with those people once again.

Carmelo Speaks out on His Bond With NYC & MSG

Never one to shy away from his true feelings on a particular subject or put out a message that isn’t his own, Anthony said a mouthful about his latest return to the Big Apple ahead of the Knicks-Lakers affair.

“I always look forward to playing in the Garden, playing in front of the fans, whether with the Knicks or against the Knicks,” he said. “You know, for me, that love is different, that fan base is different for me here in New York. It goes deeper than basketball. They embraced me, I’ve embraced them.”

Clearly, it’s a relationship that Anthony expects to continue on for the rest of his days.

“I don’t think that bond between myself and New York City will ever go anywhere,” he added.

All that being said, he’s still fully aware that there’s an actual game to be played here. He looks to be confident about the Lakers’ chances of leaving NYC with the win, too.

“You know, the Knicks are playing great basketball, they have some good energy up here, we know how Thibs teams are up here, they’re very tough teams. We know we have to come and put on our hard hat on tomorrow night, but it’ll be great to get a win in the Garden, I tell you that.”

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Conjuring Images of His Knicks Days

Carmelo isn’t really the same player he was when he was still balling out with the Knicks. However, throughout his early run with the Lakers, he has definitely resembled that guy with surprising regularity. In some ways, he’s even looked better.

As a team, the Lake Show has scuffled through the early campaign, but Anthony has largely remained on point. In 18 games this season, he is averaging 15.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest. He’s also shooting 47.3% from the floor and 46.1% from three-point range.

It took him a hot minute for him to get there, but Anthony is finally thriving in a bench role that allows him to enter games and just be himself without carrying the whole load on his back as he did with the Knicks.


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