Carmelo Anthony had a number of reasons for wanting to come back to the Knicks, not the least of which was a five-year, $124 million contract. But also important to the Brooklyn native was the possibility of winning an NBA title in New York.
Anthony said last night that taking home the trophy elsewhere wouldn't have as much meaning to him.
"It would be no better feeling than winning one [here], given the impact I would have, not just from a basketball standpoint, from an overall standpoint," Anthony said at his second annual Tools for Teachers Initiative, run by the Carmelo Anthony Foundation, in Manhattan.
The Knicks are not one of the favorites to win a championship this year. Right now, they're just focusing on the new system being implemented by rookie coach Derek Fisher. Anthony said before training camp that he was confident the Knicks would make the postseason and he's standing by that statement.
"I still believe that," Anthony said. "If I sat and told you we weren't going to be a playoff team, that would be the biggest story. It's kind of a lose-lose situation with that. But I still believe that."
Anthony said the team has "come a long way" since the first day of camp, but "still has a ways to go." The Knicks begin the season against the Bulls at home Oct. 29.
Anthony, 30, does allow himself to think about what it would be like to win a title at the Garden one day. Those thoughts represent another motive for Anthony passing up free-agent offers from teams like the Bulls, who on paper seem to have a better shot of winning it all this year.
"I dream," he said. "I have my moments. Sometimes that dream is very clear. Sometimes it's cloudy."