Carmelo Anthony's time as a member of the New York Knicks finally came to an end after years of speculation that it was time for both sides to move on.
Both sides finally did, with Anthony waiving his no-trade clause to join Russell Westbrook and Paul George on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Anthony spent six-and-a-half seasons with the Knicks, missing the playoffs in each of the past four seasons.
Change is always hard, though, and there's no doubt that Anthony had genuine love for representing New York. Anthony was born in New York and spent the first nine years of his life there before moving to Baltimore, Maryland. There's a reason he demanded a trade to the Knicks, and only the Knicks, all those years ago.
Even after years of struggling to field a competitive team, and butting heads with upper management in very public ways, Anthony remained steadfast in wanting to remain a Knick. As he says in a heartfelt goodbye he published on his personal website, he wanted to make his mark on Basketball Mecca.
"I came to NYC to B (Be) Born again. The sense of something extraordinary happening left me with a lot of sleepless nights dreaming of possibilities. The one thing I kept telling myself was ‘Make my mark in NYC and I’d be a made man’," Anthony wrote in the letter.
Anthony never quite made the mark he was hoping to make in New York. Whether it was his own shortcomings, or the franchises, in the end it all looks the same from a results perspective. The Knicks were ready to go all-in on rebuilding, and Anthony was a remnant of a past hope that faded a little more with each season passing.
Even with the clarity of how mutually beneficial the split between Anthony and the Knicks is, it remains hard for Anthony to say goodbye to the chance to lead his hometown team back to greatness.
"Saying Goodbye is the hardest thing to do. I never thought I would, especially to you. No one will ever take your place. It’s hard to find someone like you, so know you will always be missed. You helped me laugh. You dried my tears. Because of you, I have no fears.
"You came into my life and I was blessed. It’s time to raise my hand and say goodbye. It’s not the end, because like I’ve always said, NYC ‘til the end."
Anthony had plenty to say about leaving New York, and you can check out the full letter right over here.