Tim Hardaway Jr. happy to have Carmelo Anthony back with Knicks

Tim Hardaway Jr. reacts after hitting a three-point Tim Hardaway Jr. reacts after hitting a three-point basket in the second half of a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden on Monday, March 10, 2014. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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Amid media requests for interviews and kids' requests for him to perform video game-type dunks yesterday, Tim Hardaway Jr. fielded perhaps the sharpest question from a young boy in the crowd:

What if Carmelo Anthony had chosen to not re-sign with the Knicks?

"Thank the Lord he decided to come back," replied Hardaway Jr., who hosted a basketball clinic for youngsters at the Coleman Country Day Camp in Freeport. "If he had left, I thought he would've gone to Chicago, and that had me worried for a little while. That would've been rough."

That, most likely, would have sent the Knicks into a complete rebuilding mode. The Bulls were a major suitor -- and the Knicks' biggest threat to lure away the All-Star -- but Anthony eventually signed a five-year, $124-million contract to remain in New York.

"I'm just really glad he's back," Hardaway Jr. said, "and I'm happy the offseason is almost over."