So far this season, Carmelo Anthony has proven to be an excellent signing for the Los Angeles Lakers. The 19-year vet is averaging 15.2 points on 46.1% shooting from 3-point range and recently knocked down 5-of-8 from deep to help the Lakers snap their three-game losing streak with a comeback victory over the Detroit Pistons.
But next up for the Lakers following that win is their lone trip to Madison Square Garden to face the New York Knicks. Anthony, of course, is extremely familiar with the building and the Knicks as he is one of the most prolific scorers the franchise has ever seen and holds the scoring record at MSG with 62 points. Anthony was also born in New York which makes this trip home that much more special.
“New York, I mean this is home. My family is here, my son is in school here, I live here,” Anthony said. “So outside of that, coming back to New York understanding my fanbase here, the city, the love that I have here in this city for what I was able to represent when I was here is kind of bigger than basketball, bigger than sports.”
“So I embrace that, people that are here know and understand that. It’s a feeling that’s hard to explain unless you’re here and you’re actually feeling kind of just that energy. It’s a lot different seeing it from the outside in but when you’re here, you feel the energy. It’s a big difference.”
This isn’t Carmelo’s first trip back to New York since leaving the franchise, though it is his first in a Lakers uniform. As he said, the relationship he has with the fans here is something different and he is looking forward to playing in front of them once again.
“As far as the crowd reaction, I always look forward to playing in the Garden, playing in front of the fans whether with the Knicks or against the Knicks,” Anthony added. “For me, that love is different. That fanbase is different for me here in New York and like I said, it goes deeper than basketball. They embrace me, I’ve embraced them and I don’t think that bond between myself and New York City will ever go anywhere. So that’s why I embrace it the way I do.”
The Lakers would undoubtedly love to get a vintage Anthony performance back in New York in order to defeat a tough Knicks team. Anthony will be motivated in front of his home town and while the Lakers will be on the road, Carmelo should feel right at home.
Anthony says role with Lakers has been established since the beginning
Due to injuries on the Lakers’ roster, Anthony has had to play a much larger role than anyone expected. He is averaging nearly 30 minutes per game, which is truly an accomplishment in his 19th season. But Anthony loves it and was prepared for this role as it was outlined from the beginning.
“Listen, I’m doing what I love to do. At this stage, it’s being able to be adaptable to your situation, to your surroundings. Being wiser, understanding what you need to do, what the team needs from you. Role has been established from Day 1, and for me it’s just picking my spots and doing what I do best and bringing what I do to this team knowing that they look forward to me doing that and bringing scoring and shooting, just another leader on this team.”
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