Carmelo Anthony makes his first trip back to Madison Square Garden on Saturday since being traded in September, and with a pregame video tribute planned, Anthony said it will be an "emotional" night. "Walking in there, it'll be a little emotional, because from the standpoint, that's home," he said. "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 was dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott, ending monthslong drama with the New York Knicks that began with then-team president Phil Jackson publicly stating his desire to trade Anthony. With a list narrowed down to only a few teams, Anthony waived his no-trade clause to accept a deal to the Thunder. But as he heads back to New York, with the Knicks playing well as they rally around new franchise player Kristaps Porzingis, Anthony said he feels the atmosphere will be more about appreciation than any animosity. "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 recognize that." Jackson and Anthony clashed over playing style and offensive system, with Jackson looking to install the triangle, something that didn't mesh well with Anthony. With Jackson fired over the summer, there was a feeling the Knicks could break away from that system, and Anthony could find success in something else had he stayed.
Melo hopes MSG return is about appreciation, not animosity
ESPN | Dec 16