Carmelo Anthony, who was traded from the Knicks to the Thunder in late-September, said he doesn't hold a grudge against the Knicks for how things transpired in New York.
Former Knicks president Phil Jackson took subtle and not so subtle shots at Anthony last season, before attempting to trade him at the deadline and again before the Draft this past April.
"When I signed back with the Knicks, I wanted to be in New York and I believed in Phil,'' Anthony told Marc Stein of the NY Times. "Then last year it went to: I was being pushed out. There were things being said about me that I didn't know where they were coming from. And I still had to go in that gym and play and practice and deal with the media, answer all those questions every day."
Anthony told Stein he spoke to Jackson "maybe twice" face-to-face last season.
"You want it to work out so bad, for so many years, and it doesn't work out - it's not fun anymore," Anthony added about his Knicks tenure.
The 33-year-old Anthony, who said shortly after the trade that he felt "wanted and appreciated" in Oklahoma City, will face the Knicks on opening night in Oklahoma City on Thursday night, with former teammate Kristaps Porzingis guarding him.
The Thunder werent originally on Anthony's list of teams he'd waive his no-trade clause for, but he said one factor that led him to change his mind was that his son wanted him to play for the Thunder "even before O.K.C. was in the picture."
Anthony added that things were "too far gone" with the Knicks by the time Jackson was removed as president.
"I already had in my mind that I wanted to win, that I wanted to move on," Anthony said. "We didn't think it would take as long as it did, but my mind was already made up."
The Knicks acquired Anthony from the Nuggets in the middle of the 2010-11 season, with him averaging 26.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in 27 games.
He averaged 24.7 points and 7.0 rebounds during his seven seasons with the Knicks, with the team reaching the playoffs during Anthony's first three seasons, advancing only as far as the Eastern Conference semifinals (in 2012-13).
The Knicks missed the playoffs during Anthony's last four seasons in New York.
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Carmelo Anthony might score 50 Thursday night against the Knicks. If they allowed him to wear a hoodie, make it 100. While he may not hold a grudge, there isn't a single player that would love to stick it to the Knicks on the court -- on opening night -- more.
The drama started when Phil Jackson got here and it didn't end until he left. If Jackson had his way, the Knicks could have ended up with a bag of chips for Melo. The Knicks didn't get a steak, but they got some chicken.
When your name is being floated around daily, you don't feel welcome. The Knicks have moved on for the most part from the dysfunction in the front office and are building a team, getting younger, and now have assets again in the draft.
Anthony is now part of the best team he may ever play for outside of Team USA, and his son influencing that move makes it an incredible story. It shouldn't surprise anyone if he drops a triple-double in the Knicks' faces in Oklahoma City on Thursday.