Carmelo Anthony will always be remembered as a Knick. 7 seasons in MSG, 7 All-Star appearances, one scoring title — his resume speaks for itself.
Unfortunately, his time with the Knickerbockers came to an end earlier than expected, when he was traded from New York to the Oklahoma City Thunder. But it doesn’t mean the team didn’t try to keep him around. According to Ian Begley of SportsNet New York, one high-ranking official inside the Knicks’ organization made “one last-ditch effort” to convince Anthony to stay following the 2016-17 season.
“A divorce seemed inevitable back in the 2017 offseason, but there was at least one last-ditch effort from the Knicks to keep Anthony at Madison Square Garden. One high-ranking Knicks official visited Anthony in person prior to the trade to Oklahoma City to ask him to reconsider his stance and stay with the Knicks, per SNY sources. Obviously that Knicks official – one of the few on solid terms with Anthony at the time – was rebuffed. The feeling from Anthony then was that it was time to part ways after everything that happened over the past year with he and team president Phil Jackson, per sources.”
The rift between Jackson (the team President at the time) and Anthony was clearly too much to bear. Over the final year of his tenure, Jackson made it a point to blame and alienate Anthony from the team.
Over two seasons later, with Jackson gone and Melo in Portland, nobody knows if Melo will ever return to New York. All we know is that his breakup from the city he loved so much was not an easy one.