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Carmelo Anthony.

Carmelo Anthony enjoys the "level of appreciation" he receives from OKC fans

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Carmelo Anthony's tenure with the New York Knicks came to an end in September after he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, closing a rollercoaster six-and-a-half year chapter in the Big Apple.

Melo enjoyed both good times and bad with the franchise and shared a similar relationship with the Knicks fan base.

In his early years in New York, he was adored by the fans and they were delighted to have the star donning the blue and orange uniform at Madison Square Garden.

But in his final years with the team, the fans' feelings were split on Anthony as they suffered multiple losing campaigns and failed to make the playoffs for a number of seasons.

There were times last year where some sections of the MSG crowd booed Carmelo and it signalled that his stint with the Knicks was coming to an end.

Now in Oklahoma City, the veteran has a new lease of life and is playing in front of one of the loudest and most passionate fans in the NBA.

The 33-year-old has only been with the Thunder for a few months but he's already taken to the atmosphere and the feel-good factor that they create.

New York Knicks v Oklahoma City Thunder

"It’s just a greater level of appreciation here from an athletes’ standpoint, from a basketball standpoint," Anthony told Complex. "The fans are very appreciative of me coming here, of Paul coming here, and wanting to be a part of the Oklahoma City community.

"So from that standpoint, things are definitely going in the right direction. They’ve been very supportive of myself. On court is going to take care of itself….

"It’s a small, intimate environment where the fans really get to know the players and the players get to know the fans, really embrace the fans. It’s a hand-to-hand situation out here."

New York Knicks v Oklahoma City Thunder

These comments can easily be translated as the 10-time All-Star taking a shot at the Knicks fans who treated him badly last year.

But the fans in NY are more demanding and have higher expectations compared to a smaller market like OKC.

Being in the spotlight in the league's biggest market took its toll on Carmelo mentally and it's clear that he's now enjoying being in a smaller town with less media presence.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets

The small forward is also having more fun on the court alongside two other All-Stars. There were question marks about how the league's latest 'big three' would co-exist but Melo doesn't believe he's had to adapt his game too much.

"A lot of things get highlighted differently when you’re in different situations. This situation I’m still able to do what I want to do and have fun with it," he said.

"But now it gets brought up to a new level, gets highlighted a little more in the fact that we’re on a good team, with good players, and those things get highlighted more than if you were on a team that wasn’t so good."

Topics:
NBA
Northwest Division
Western Conference
Paul George
Indiana Pacers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook

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