After a rocky start with the Thunder, Carmelo Anthony said it’s “it’s refreshing” to be in Oklahoma City and not New York.
“In New York, there was so much going on with the organization and the city,” Anthony said in an interview with ESPN. “It was very tense up there, and you never really get a chance to have stability there.
“Here, man, I’m having fun with the game again. The joy of it — that’s what guys know me as: laughing and smiling and enjoying the game. I think over the past couple of years I’ve lost that, and I think guys around the league have seen it.”
Anthony had to change his game, playing with Russell Westbrook and Paul George. He’s shooting and scoring less than he has in his career.
But his four-year drought of missing the playoffs likely will end this season. So has much of the drama that weighed him down as a Knick. Anthony tweeted out the link to the ESPN story with the words, “Breath of Fresh Air.”
Anthony forced a trade to the Knicks in 2011, and said on many occasions he wanted to end his career with them. But after being criticized publicly on many occasions by former team president Phil Jackson last year, Anthony decided to waive his no-trade clause to play for a contender.
The Knicks sent him to Oklahoma City for Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott a few days before the start of training camp.
“That was the toughest part for me in New York, having to go in and go to work and still put a smile on my face and still deal with everything and not be as happy,” Anthony said. “Having the effects of that carry over to being around family and friends, being down so much but still having to be strong. It’s pulls at you. You’ve got to be strong, but you’re feeling down, and I had to deal with that.
“Then you come here and it’s refreshing. Fresh air here.”
Joakim Noah’s former teammate at Florida Al Horford said he hopes “things get worked out” and he believes Noah “can help any team.” Noah has been away from the Knicks since getting into a heated exchange with Jeff Hornacek Jan. 25 in Denver. Hornacek said this week that the Knicks “have moved on” from Noah. The Knicks would need to buy out Noah by March 1 for him to be playoff eligible. But there has been little movement on that front . . . The Knicks held their first-ever Chinese New Year Celebration Saturday night. Also, for the first time, the Knicks will participate in the 2018 Lunar New Year Parade in Manhattan Sunday led by former Knick Latrell Sprewell.