Bernard King was flying to Houston when Carmelo Anthony broke his franchise scoring record Friday night. But King found out shortly after he landed that Anthony had lit up the Charlotte Bobcats for 62 points.
King said his phone was "buzzing" with voice-mail messages and texts saying, 'Melo broke your record. Melo broke your record." And King couldn't have been happier.
"It was a delight to know he played at such a magnificent level," King said in a phone interview yesterday. "I had an opportunity to watch a great deal of the footage on the highlights. It was really special to see he really performed in such a manner, hitting jump shots, driving to the basket, and even the half-court shot looked like it was in rhythm, like it was a normal jump shot for him.
"I know how he felt during that game in performing that way. I've been there before. I'm delighted that the record was broken by him."
King held the record for nearly 30 years. He scored 60 points in a loss to the Nets on Christmas Day 1984. Anthony also broke the record for points in a game at the current version of Madison Square Garden, which opened in February 1968. Kobe Bryant's 61 was the previous mark. Said King, "It should be held by a Knick."
The basketball Hall of Famer, who's in Houston for a memorabilia show, said he spoke to Knicks assistant coach and former teammate Darrell Walker after the game. King also congratulated Anthony through a text message. "I sent Carmelo a text indicating how happy I was for him and delighted that he was able to break the record, and that he's so deserving and I truly enjoy watching," King said. "I'm very, very delighted for him."
Anthony and King both are from Brooklyn, and Anthony has said he looked up to King and tried to emulate parts of his game. King was lethal offensively and led the NBA in scoring in 1984-85, averaging 32.9 points. Anthony was the league leader last season at 28.7 points per game.
"I have a relationship with Carmelo," King said. "I know he patterns certain aspects of his game after mine. To have that connective level to his performance was really beautiful. It was very special. He's a tremendous offensive force, one of the best the game has ever seen. I'm just very, very happy for him and the organization. It's truly wonderful."
King runs two businesses now: an IT solution and e-commerce company called BKing Technologies, and BKing Postage, which creates commemorative stamps for corporations and individuals. He does some work for MSG Network and plans to get a DVD of Anthony's record-setting performance. "I look forward to sitting down and watching that game," he said. "It's going to stand for decades and may last a lifetime."
Another King weighs in
LeBron James also didn't watch Anthony's performance, but he tweeted about his good friend during and after the game. "C'mon Mike Woodson keep @carmeloanthony in. I wanna see 70-75! Well actually I can't see cause I'm at an event but I'll see the highlights!" he tweeted. Later he tweeted, "Congrats to my brother @carmeloanthony on setting a franchise record tonight! #RocketLauncherFromBirth."