Carmelo Anthony’s strained relationship with the New York Knicks was perhaps the most dramatic storyline of this past NBA offseason.
On nearly a daily basis, tidbits of information, rumors and predictions flooded the airwaves. Would Melo stay? Did he want to stay? Would he be bought out? Would he be traded? If so, would the Knicks give him away for nothing or would they require a reasonable return?
Those questions were put to rest when the Knicks agreed to a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder that sent Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second-round pick to New York in exchange for Anthony.
Now ironically getting ready to take on the Knicks in his debut with the Thunder on Thursday, Anthony decided to speak out in detail against his former team.
"I always envisioned myself coming back, even when I was being pushed out," Anthony told reporters at practice on Wednesday, per ESPN. "I think for me, I knew what was going on behind closed doors, I knew the talk that was happening. I just wanted them to come to me direct and say, 'Look, this is what we're thinking,' and not have to read it or hear about it and then go to them and say, 'What is this?' If they felt that I just wanted them to be honest and direct.”
He added, ”I think I was very honest and direct with them about wanting to be in New York, wanting to be on a winning team, wanting to have a good team. I was very honest with that. I just didn't feel like they were honest with me."
Not only were NBA fans confused about his status with the club, but he also didn’t know how to process what was going on as the drama escalated to new heights this summer.
"This whole summer I always said that to myself," Anthony said. "Where did it go wrong? What did I do? Honestly, I asked myself that. I can't pinpoint where did it go wrong. I can't answer that question. I don't know. I can't pinpoint the exact time. I think we all know who. But I don't know why? I don't know why it went wrong.”
Anthony mentioned Phil Jackson specifically and made a powerful claim in the process. He was dismissed by the Knicks prior to Anthony’s trade being completed, but Melo explained that Jackson’s lack of professionalism played a large role in what went wrong.
“I was always, 'I'm going to put my trust in Phil, I'm going to put my trust in Phil,'" Anthony explained. "That diminished after a while. I'm out here doing everything I can and I'm still getting stabbed in the back. I'm not trusting in that anymore. I'm trusting in these guys [teammates] that are out here. Whoever's out here, this is who I'm dealing with."
As generally an emotional guy, Anthony is not taking Thursday’s game against the Knicks lightly. He wants to make a statement.
"This is an important game for me because it's an opportunity for me to kind of go out there and kind of close that chapter," he said. "I don't think that chapter has been closed yet. I think tomorrow with me running out there on the court in a different uniform kind of closes that chapter.”