Bernard King told me in the fall he'd love to see his protege, Carmelo Anthony, pull on a Knicks jersey bearing King's old number, 30. But according to a team official, Anthony has chosen to go with No. 7.
Anthony wore No. 15 with the Nuggets and at Syracuse, but that number isn't available with the Knicks because it has been twice retired for Dick McGuire and Earl Monroe.
Technically, No. 7 wasn't available, either, because it was issued to Kelenna Azubuike this season. But since Azubuike has yet to dress for the Knicks, let alone enter a game, there was a loophole in NBA rules that allowed Azubuike to change numbers in mid-season (as long as it was before March 1 ). So Azubuike will switch to No. 17 and, considering how he's improved in practice as he recovers from a ruptured patella tendon, we might even see him in that jersey soon.
CNBC's Darren Rovell, a great friend of the Fix, first reported Anthony's number choice. Rovell also revealed that Chauncey Billups, the second major piece in the 12-player blockbuster, will go with No. 4. Billups wore No. 1 in Denver, but actually donned No. 7 after he was initially traded to the Nuggets in 2009. He wore No. 1 in Detroit, when his career hit its peak with the Finals MVP in 2005. But he has worn No. 4 previously in his career, including his stops in Minnesota (2001-02), previously with Denver (1999-2000) and the Celtics (1998).
Because you really needed to know that.