Carmelo Anthony announces decision to re-sign with Knicks
In big block letters on top of the front page of Carmelo Anthony's official website are the words "My City, My Heart." That was Anthony's way of announcing he is re-signing with the Knicks.
Posted just before 12:30 p.m., Anthony revealed what already was known: he wasn't going anywhere.
But Anthony wanted to do it his way and in his words, and the Knicks afforded him that as their franchise player and the centerpiece of Phil Jackson's plan to turn the team into a championship contender.
"I am a New York Knick at heart," Anthony wrote on his website. "I am looking forward to continue my career in Orange & Blue and to work with Phil Jackson, a champion who builds championship teams. Madison Square Garden is the mecca of basketball and I am surrounded by the greatest fans in the world."
Anthony will sign a five-year deal worth upwards of $120 million to remain a Knick and be the focal point of the triangle offense that new coach Derek Fisher will run.
The seven-time All-Star visited the Bulls, Rockets, Mavericks and Lakers, but the Brooklyn native didn't want to leave the team he forced a trade to three years ago.
"A few years ago I dreamed of coming back to New York City, the place of my birth, and on February 23, 2011 that became a reality," Anthony wrote. "This organization has supported me and in return, I want to stay and build here with this city and my team. At this pivotal juncture in my career, I owed it to myself and my family to explore all of the options available to me. Through it all, my heart never wavered.
"During this journey I met with some quality organizations who have amazing talent and leadership. I thank them for their consideration, belief in my talent, and opportunity to imagine the possibilities. I will always remember this chapter in my life."
It's unclear at this point exactly how much Anthony will sign for, but multiple reports said he would take less than a maximum contract to help the Knicks bring in other players. He was offered five years and $129 million.
Barring a trade to clear up some room this offseason, the Knicks will only have the $3.2 million taxpayer midlevel exception and minimum contracts for free agency. The Knicks also have a $3.6 million trade exception they acquired from Dallas in the six-player trade last month that also brought in steady veteran point guard Jose Calderon.
"After three months of questions around Carmelo Anthony's return to the New York Knicks, we are now happy to know that we have the cornerstone of what we envision as a 'team of excellence,'" Jackson said in a statement. "Steve Mills and I have assured Carmelo through our conversations that we share the vision and the determination to build this team."
The Knicks went 37-45 last season, and Anthony missed the playoffs for the first time in his 11-year career. But the East is wide open now that LeBron James has left Miami and returned to Cleveland.
Jackson already has made improvements, adding Calderon and drafting Cleanthony Early in the second round out of Wichita State. Their chances of being a playoff team greatly improve with Anthony back.
"I have had the opportunity to be around some of the greatest players in our game, and now I have the honor of coaching Carmelo," Fisher said. "This is an exciting time for the New York Knicks franchise and our fans. I look forward to working with him and building something special together."