Current Thunder and former Knicks SF Carmelo Anthony has quickly found a niche with his new team in Oklahoma City.
Anthony and the Knicks struggled this offseason to reach an agreement as to where the veteran All-Star would land this season. After the Knicks asked Melo for a few more options after talks with the Rockets settled, a deal with the Thunder was made in an instant.
At the end of the day, Anthony was looking for a playoff contender and found one with the Thunder.
"You've got to want that," Anthony told The Vertical. "You've got to have that edge about you. We've got that edge about us. That was no factor in my decision, whether it was East or West."
Anthony isn't the only All-Star to join Thunder PG Russell Westbrook this season. Paul George was the first big name to join the 2016-17 NBA MVP. With Westbrook and George able to score like Melo, the West's newest three-headed monster has the bar set high.
"It will all come together. We see it in practice when Russ is with us. We see what the potential of what this team can be," Anthony said. "It's lifted a burden off of me. And I'm pretty sure it's the same off of Paul and Russ. We talk about those things. We don't want to have to do it every single night, every single play, but we know we're going to have to bring our games every single night in order for us to be successful."
The new uniforms and new teammates has revitalized the 33-year-old who says he is back to having fun on the court again.
"This is just me. This is Melo having fun again. This is Melo being motivated again. This is Melo having pieces around him who he can play off of and who they can play off of," said Anthony. "This is something that I've always wanted. At the end of the day, it's basketball for me. With basketball, you make adjustments."
After a tumulutous final season with the Knicks, Anthony knew his time in New York was over. Though he didn't like how long the separation took to finalize, he is happy it is over so he can reflect on his years playing in his home city.
"It was a little bittersweet because I knew that chpater was over and everybody else knew that chapter was over. People didn't want to believe it. It didn't feel right but after a while it kicked in," Anthony said. "The situation made it easier for me, but it also made it harder for me, because at the end of the day, everbody knows how I feel about New York and being there and being in the city. Everybody knows that. So, for me, it was like, I needed something to push me forward to be definitive with my decision. Like, 'OK, this is what it is,' and I never want to go through that again."
Anthony had a chance to leave New York back in 2014, but he ultimately decided to sign a $125 million contract with a no-trade clause. But this time around, Melo was sure it was time to move from New York.
"All of the ducks were laid in order this time," he said. "Before, I could've left. I could've went here, went there. Who knows if things would've been different? Right now, I knew the timing was right for everything. Timing is everything, isn't it? Timing is everything."
The Thunder is Anthony's third team in his 15-year career. In seven seasons with the Knicks, he posted 24.7 points, seven rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 44.3 percent from the field.