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Carmelo Anthony.

Carmelo Anthony is expecting an emotional return to New York for the first time

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Fresh off a thrilling triple-overtime win over the Philadelphia 76ers, Carmelo Anthony is now gearing up for his first game back at Madison Square Garden to face his former New York Knicks team.

The veteran was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder prior to the start of the season in exchange for Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott and finally ended a long saga that began with then-president Phil Jackson publicly stating his desire to trade Anthony.

The small forward spent seven seasons in the Big Apple but despite limited success, he is set to be honored with a video tribute by the franchise.

Melo is looking forward to returning home and is expecting an emotional occasion at MSG.

"Walking in there, it'll be a little emotional, because from the standpoint, that's home," he said, per ESPN's Royce Young.

"Being back in there, being on the other side, running out the other side of the tunnel, seeing people that I became close with, seeing my family that I can't really much right now because I'm in Oklahoma City -- my son, my wife -- seeing them, having them be there is very important.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets

"So I think it'll be a fun game, a fun night. Emotional as far as excited being back on that court."

After finally agreeing to waive his no-trade clause to accept a move to OKC, Carmelo allowed the Knicks to build their team around Kristaps Porzingis and they're enjoying a decent season so far with a 15-13 record and playing good basketball.

The 10-time All-Star doesn't feel he'll get a hostile reception from fans in New York and believes they'll show him appreciation instead.

Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks

"It's not like I was there for a year or two seasons," he said. "I mean, I spent a lot of time there, almost seven years. It was great times, it was bad times, but regardless, I always stuck with it, I always remained professional, I always came and did my job whether people liked me or not, so hopefully they recognize that."

The 33-year-old helped to bring the entire organization back to life when he arrived in 2011 and created a real energy and buzz around the team.

Even though he was unable to bring a consistent level of success to the Knicks, he admits he still misses New York.

New York Knicks v Oklahoma City Thunder

"How could I not miss New York?" Anthony said. "I became entrenched into not just the Knicks, but the city as a whole. Those are my roots, the people there, I became one of them. I've embraced New York City, I embraced the culture, embraced everything about the city."

Melo had his best game of the campaign on Friday night as he posted 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting against the Sixers and he'll be keen to put his old team to the sword on Saturday night.

Topics:
NBA
Northwest Division
Western Conference
Paul George
Indiana Pacers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Carmelo Anthony
New York Knicks
Atlantic Division
Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook

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