Carmelo Anthony Looking Forward To "Emotional" New York Return



Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony has his tissues ready for his return to Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

The 10-time All-Star is making his first trip back to New York since his trade to the Thunder in September and the Knicks have a tribute video planned to honour the six-plus seasons Anthony spent with the team.

"Walking in there, it'll be a little emotional, because from the standpoint, that's home," Anthony told ESPN.

"Being back in there, being on the other side, running out the other side of the tunnel, seeing people that I became close with, seeing my family that I can't really much right now because I'm in Oklahoma City - my son, my wife - seeing them, having them be there is very important.

"So I think it'll be a fun game, a fun night. Emotional as far as excited being back on that court."

Anthony, who had a full no-trade clause, was adamant that he intended to remain in New York, but controversy with then-team president Phil Jackson led to his decision to waive the clause and head to Oklahoma City.

Anthony, 33, returns averaging 18 points per game with the Thunder this season. He hopes the New York fans remember him fondly.

"It's not like I was there for a year or two seasons," he said. "I mean, I spent a lot of time there, almost seven years. It was great times, it was bad times, but regardless, I always stuck with it, I always remained professional, I always came and did my job whether people liked me or not, so hopefully they recognise that."

The Thunder should be favourites with the Knicks missing Tim Hardaway Jr. and possibly Kristaps Porzingis.