Just how close were the Bulls to signing Carmelo Anthony during 2014 free agency?

Well, if you believe Anthony's comments on ESPN's First Take on Friday morning, pretty darn close.

Anthony, who remains a free agent and hasn't played an NBA game since the Houston Rockets waived him in November 2018, spoke with Stephen A. Smith on a number of topics, and Anthony's decision to remain with the Knicks in 2014 came up.

Here's what Anthony had to say about the situation.

"I was going to Chicago. Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, I was there, right? I was there," Anthony said. "And then I started getting whispers behind the scenes. Yo, look, this person ain't gonna be there. It ain't really right. This and that. It was all of that started to come up in the midst of my decision making. I wasn't gonna let anything cloud that. I met with New York (Knicks) last. Like, I think it was the last team I met with because I knew that I was ready to move on from that situation because of what I was dealing with and going through in New York."

There's obviously a lot to break down here. Let's start with the whispers.

The animosity between then-head coach Tom Thibodeau and both Gar Forman and John Paxson was the worst kept secret in the NBA.