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John Starks is considered one of the top-15 Knicks all-time -- he knows a thing or two about getting to the playoffs. Starks made the postseason in every single one of his eight seasons with the Knicks. With the Knicks trading Carmelo Anthony, many believe that they aren't a playoff team with their current roster, but Starks disagrees.
"I see this as a playoff team," Starks told SNY.tv on Tuesday night at the NextGen AAA launch event at Sunset Terrace at Chelsea Piers. "I thought they were a playoff team last year, but unfortunately things didn't click. Hopefully this year, especially in the East. The East isn't as strong as the West. I think we are in the top eight teams that should be in there.
"I think we have a solid team, but you never know until you lace them up and get out there on the court. Hopefully guys come back with some renewed energy just knowing they are a much better team than what they showed last year. I'm excited about it."
Starks was a fan of the return in the Anthony, as the Knicks ended up getting Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott.
"I thought we got two pretty good players back in Kanter and McDermott," Starks said. "I just wish him the best. Obviously, we got a lot of work to do as an organization to be able to get this team moving in the right direction. I'm looking forward to this year. I think it's going to be an exciting year.
"Coach Hornacek having a year under his belt in the New York market and a lot of the players. I got a chance to see [Kristaps] Porzingis a little bit over the summer overseas playing in some European games and he looks real good. I'm excited about this year."
Anthony's legacy is an interesting debate because of how his tenure here ended. Starks was a fan favorite and a guy who always gets a rousing ovation at Madison Square Garden. Anthony had his supporters and he had his critics. The ending in New York wasn't as pretty as the Knicks would have hoped, but Starks believes he'll always be loved.
"He's going to have a good legacy here," Starks said. "The old adage is once a Knick, always a Knick. Melo definitely embodies that…the way he gave his heart to this team and this organization and the community itself. He's always going to be loved here. I'm pretty sure when he comes back he's going to get a standing ovation."