Carmelo Anthony says it was "tense" playing in New York

Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors

One of the most drawn-out and dramatic storylines of the last offseason involved Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks.

He was, of course, eventually traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder after an ugly process.

Since leaving the Big Apple, Melo hasn’t shied away from speaking out about his time there. After hearing his name in trade rumors for multiple seasons, Anthony started out the season sharing a picture of himself with the message, “You Watched Me Walk Through Hell, Now Watch me Walk Up Out of It,” on Twitter.

Clearly, he referred to the Knicks as a hell-like franchise to play for.

In a recent feature story by Tim Keown of ESPN, Melo added more fuel to the fire.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Cleveland Cavaliers

"In New York, there was so much going on with the organization and the city," Anthony said. "It was very tense up there, and you never really get a chance to have stability there. Here, man, I'm having fun with the game again. The joy of it -- that's what guys know me as: laughing and smiling and enjoying the game. I think over the past couple of years I've lost that, and I think guys around the league have seen it.”

He added, ”That was the toughest part for me in New York, having to go in and go to work and still put a smile on my face and still deal with everything and not be as happy. Having the effects of that carry over to being around family and friends, being down so much but still having to be strong. It's pulls at you. You've got to be strong, but you're feeling down, and I had to deal with that.”

Oklahoma City Thunder v New York Knicks

"Then you come here and" -- Anthony stops to draw in a massive inhale before exhaling into a sharp laugh -- "it's refreshing. Fresh air here,” Melo exclaimed.

Teammate Raymond Felton, who played alongside Anthony in New York as well, backed up his words.

"I've been on teams with bad guys," Felton explained. "Bad guys don't interact with teammates. Bad guys don't care about anybody else. He's not that guy. The stuff that was being said about him in New York upset me. I'm glad he's out of that situation.”

Oklahoma City Thunder v New York Knicks

Melo has taken a backseat as the third option on Oklahoma City’s offense behind Russell Westbrook and Paul George and is averaging 17.2 points per game, well below his career mark of 24.3 points per contest. He has also taken 15.6 shots per game, well below his career mark of 19.3 field goal attempts per contest.

But, as evidenced above, it seems like he’s happy to just be out of New York and in a fresh environment.

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