In his first interview since re-signing with the New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony opened up about his free agency process and his very difficult decision.
Anthony agreed to a five-year, $124 million contract with the Knicks but maintains his decision was not about the money but more so his faith in Phil Jackson and belief in the team.
“I want to win. I don’t care about the money,” Anthony told ESPN.com. “I believe Phil will do what he has to do to take care of that.”
“I don’t think we’re that far away,” he added. “People use ‘rebuilding’ too loosely.”
“It’s a matter of me believing in the organization, believing in Phil,” Anthony said. “I wanted to go somewhere where I can end my career.”
This upcoming season will be rough for the Knicks but in 2015 both Amare Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani’s terrible contracts will come off the Knicks books giving Jackson plenty of cap space to work.
Though Anthony’s belief in the Knicks is strong, he admits it was a very hard decision and ultimately came down to the Knicks and Chicago Bulls as many people initially thought.
“I was flip-flopping,” he admitted. “It was hard. It was Chicago, but then after I met with L.A., it was L.A. But it came back to Chicago — and was pretty much always Chicago or New York. That’s a situation where I could have walked in now to an opportunity to compete for the next however many years.”
Had he chosen the Bulls it would have given him an opportunity to team up with former MVP, Derrick Rose and Defensive Player of the Year, Joakim Noah. It was believed by many that that combination would’ve given him the best chance to win now. Instead he will place his faith in the Knicks, in the city he loves and even pointed out that LeBron James returning to Cleveland opened up the East.
“It balances everything out,” he said. “There’s balance from one to eight right now. The East is balanced.”
There’s no longer a “Big 3” in Miami and there’s been quite a few shakeups in the East but if the Cleveland Cavaliers pull off that trade for Kevin Love it’s clear who’ll be the favorites. But Anthony isn’t worried and is ready for the task ahead.
– Shaina Auxilly (@Shay_Marie)