Carmelo Anthony spent nearly half of his NBA career as a member of the New York Knicks, but an era that dated back to the 2010-2011 season came to an end this summer.
Anthony wavied his no-trade clause for a chance to join Paul George and Russell Westbrook on the Oklahoma City Thunder. The new superteam on the block is an interesting one, and until they're on the court competing every night, it's hard to project just how good they can be together.
Carmelo loved the Knicks, though, and that much was made clear in an emotional goodbye letter he wrote to the franchise. He mused on how he had hoped to make it in The Big Apple to solidify his legacy, wanting to make an impact on the team he grew up cheering for.
Without playoff success and a title, it's clear Anthony didn't find the level of success he had hoped for when he demanded a trade to New York. That doesn't mean he didn't leave a lasting impression on the franchise and its players, though.
Anthony's former teammate Lance Thomas wrote a thank you letter to Anthony on The Players' Tribune, showing his appreciation for the Knicks' former centerpiece. In it, he revealed a story about Anthony teaching one of his young teammates last season a lesson that bears repeating.
"There was one thing that happened last season that I’ll never forget: Remember when we were in L.A., and after the game, we were sitting at the back of the team bus cracking jokes? One of our young players — I won’t even put him on blast by giving his name — called you out. He said he could take you one-on-one.
"You just nodded with a smile, and you told him, Alright. If that’s what you want, that’s what you gonna get.'" Thomas wrote.
What came next was a clinic from one of the best individual scorers of this generation of superstars. Anthony was so relentless, Thomas wrote, that was "Hoodie Melo times 10." Read on for the rest of the story from Thomas, and to learn about what Island Anthony takes his helpless defenders to:
You guys start playing, and from the jump you just put on a clinic. Like you’re pulling out all these unbelievable moves and making shots from wherever you want on the court. It was Hoodie Melo times 10. And the whole time, you had that same grin on your face.
I just stood there grinning too, looking on like a fan — and I am a fan.
At one point you look up at the guy and say, “You know what island you on?”
And he says, “What?”
“A lot of people die on this island right here,” you say. “I don’t think you wanted to come here!”
And then you laugh and shout, “This is Killigan’s Island!”
Then you keep going, just buckets, buckets, buckets. Putting this guy in the blender and reminding him who you are and what you’ve done.
Anthony has buried plenty of NBA players on "Killigan's Island" throughout his career, and his competitive spirit has never been in doubt. Getting the most out of it, and implementing it into a cohesive team strategy, has often been the challenge.
Anthony is on arguably the most talented team he's ever played on, and while there's not much by way of bodies of water in Oklahoma, we're willing to bet Carmelo will continue taking his opponents out to sea.