Returning to New York Saturday for the first time since being traded to Oklahoma City in September brought back a lot of memories for Carmelo Anthony, relays Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. Anthony addressed the six-and-a-half years he spent with the Knicks, along with several other topics, in a post-game press conference.
“I like what I see, I like the potential that they have,” Anthony said of the Knicks. “I like what they having going on over here. For me, just to see those guys having fun again knowing that it wasn’t fun. The fun was lost over the past couple seasons, so to see those guys having fun again, bringing that energy, bringing that love back to the game, back to the Garden, is something that I’m happy for those guys when it comes to that.”
Anthony brushed aside a question about his feud with former team president Phil Jackson that eventually drove both men out of New York. Anthony was a frequent target of Jackson for not adapting his game to fit into the triangle offense, but he declined to speculate how the night may have been different if Jackson were still with the team.
“I don’t know what would’ve happened, to be honest with you,” Anthony said. “I try not to think about the past. I put that chapter behind me.”
There’s more this morning from New York:
- Anthony got a mixed reaction from the crowd in his first game back at Madison Square Garden, with overwhelming cheers during introductions but consistent boos when he touched the ball during the game. The team helped smooth things over with a pre-game video that highlighted Anthony’s best moments with the organization. “The video montage caught me by surprise,” Anthony said. “… I’d like to thank [GM] Scott Perry, [team president] Steve Mills, and the organization for doing that and making that gesture. That was big time and, for me, that goes a long way for myself, and it’s much appreciated.” (Twitter link from Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders).
- The spotlight was on Anthony, but Knicks center Enes Kanter also faced his former team, notes Brian Heyman of Newsday. Kanter, who spent the past two-and-half seasons in Oklahoma City, was part of the return New York received in the Anthony trade. “Whenever I play my old team, it always feels special,” Kanter said. “I get a little emotional, especially jacked up. I’ve battled with them. We went to the Western Conference finals together. So it feels really special.”
- Injured guard Tim Hardaway Jr. is helping the coaching staff while recovering from a stress reaction in his left leg, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. Out for the past two weeks, Hardaway is slated to be re-evaluated this week by the Knicks’ medical staff. “It’s tough — like I had something taken away from me,’’ Hardaway said.