Carmelo Anthony said it came down to the Knicks and Bulls

Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks reacts after a Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks reacts after a teammate scored a first-half basket against the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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Carmelo Anthony's free-agency decision wasn't exactly a slam dunk, and the Knicks superstar said he legitimately was torn on where he wanted to spend the prime years of his career.

"I was flip-flopping," Anthony told ESPN.com in his first public comments since announcing July 13 that he was staying in New York. "It was hard. It was Chicago, but then after I met with L.A., it was L.A. But it came back to Chicago -- and was pretty much always Chicago or New York.

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"That's a situation where I could have walked in now to an opportunity to compete for the next however many years."

The Knicks were able to offer Anthony $33 million more than any other suitor, inking him to a five-year, $124-million deal. Besides the Bulls and Lakers, he also visited with the Rockets and Mavericks. But the 30-year-old forward said he was attracted to the vision of Knicks president Phil Jackson, who has shaken things up by hiring rookie coach Derek Fisher and trading Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felon.

"I want to win. I don't care about the money," Anthony said. "I believe Phil will do what he has to do to take care of that."

Anthony added: "It's a matter of me believing in the organization, believing in Phil. I wanted to go somewhere where I can end my career."

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