After months of it living as a rumor and hours of it being a reality, Carmelo Anthony finally donned blue and orange warmups and faced the media at 5 p.m on Wednesday evening for the first time as a member of the New York Knicks.
“I feel like I’m dreaming right now,” said a beaming Anthony, former and current teammate Chauncey Billups sitting by his side on stage. “I’m sitting here in one of the best places in the world in New York City. I’m about to go upstairs and play in my first basketball game as a New York Knick in one of the best arenas in the world. I’m excited about that.”
The Knicks officially acquired Anthony, along with Billups, Renaldo Balkman, Anthony Carter and Shelden Williams in a three team, 13 player deal completed Tuesday. In return, they sent Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton andTimofey Mozgov to the Nuggets. New York also sent Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry to the Minnesota Timberwolves, receiving Corey Brewer in return.
While playing in New York means a lot to Anthony, the star small forward knows it means just as much to the city.
“I think New York needed a moment like this,” said Anthony, who will wear No. 7 for the Knicks. “I think when they got Amar’e it brought some excitment back to the city. Now, like Amar’e said, New York basketball is back.”
With 28 games left in the regular season, Carmelo is aware that the Knicks, who currently stand at a respectable 28-26, won’t become Championship contenders overnight. But he does have high hopes.
“Will we win a Championship this year? Who knows. That takes time,” said Anthony, who signed a 3-year, $65 million extension with the Knicks. “But at the end of the day, we’re moving into the right direction. I felt like I wanted to be part of an organization, part of a team who had some upside and knew what the future was holding.”
Carmelo Anthony’s dream is deferred no more.