Carmelo Anthony made an emotional return to Madison Square Garden on Saturday night as he was back in New York for the first time since being traded.
The Knicks shipped the veteran off to the Oklahoma City Thunder before the start of the season after he agreed to waive his no-trade clause and he made his hugely anticipated comeback in front of a sell-out crowd at MSG.
It wasn't the ideal return he would've hoped for, however, as he struggled badly from the field scoring just 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting in a 111-96 loss for the Thunder where he was also scoreless for the entire second half.
But the 10-time All-Star did receive a special tribute video from the franchise prior to the game as they honored him for his seven years of service to the team.
Speaking to reporters after the contest, Anthony admitted he was surprised by the video and thanked the Knicks for the classy gesture.
"The video caught me by surprise. I wasn't expecting it," Anthony said, per ESPN's Ian Begley. "I was waiting for my name to be called and accept what was going to happen. I'd like to thank the organization for making that gesture. That was big time. That goes a long way for myself."
The 33-year-old said he had mixed emotions watching the video as he feels a sense of disappointment at not bringing success to the place he calls home.
"It's a bittersweet feeling for me -- coming back here, knowing the goals that I had, what I wanted to accomplish here and falling short in that category," he said.
Melo received a good reception from most of the fans inside the arena but there were some boos too during his introduction. During the game, however, he was roundly booed every time he touched the ball.
"They can't cheer for me. I'm on another team," he said. "They're cheering for their team, they boo for the other team. That's something that I expected."
When reflecting on his time with the Knicks, Anthony said he wants to be remembered as somebody who wanted to represent the team and gave them everything.
"Somebody who wanted to be here, came here, did what he had to do night in and night out whether people liked it or not, remained positive through all the negative situations and all the negative times," he said.
"Somebody who stayed professional throughout my seven years here and somebody who had hopes and dreams of winning the championship here in New York and fell short at that.
New York has certainly moved on from its former star and has now improved to 16-13 following this win and has a realistic chance of making the playoffs at the end of the season.