Knicks F Lance Thomas thanked former Knick Carmelo Anthony on Wednesday via a letter in Players' Tribune.
Thomas said he looked up to Anthony as a young basketball player and fellow Brooklynite, noting that Anthony's confidence and joy on the court "made me dream about playing on the same team as you one day, as outlandish as that seemed back then."
Thomas, who said he went on to develop a "special friendship" with Anthony, joined the Knicks in 2015 when he was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder in a three-team trade.
"It was a dream, of course, being in New York and being on the same team as you," Thomas wrote of Anthony, who was traded to his former team on Monday. "But I also knew it would probably all be very temporary. I did everything I could - in every minute of practice and every second of floor time I got - in order to stick around. I was vocal, I was physical and I just tried to play my heart out."
"And you noticed," he added. "You didn't have to - I was a nobody."
Thomas thanked Anthony for being there for him through difficult times, serving as a role model for young players, and "for bringing that New York swag back to the Garden."
"Of course, I'm not thanking you because you need it, and certainly not because you asked for it," Thomas said. "I'm thanking you because I feel like I need to. I need to as a Brooklyn kid, as a Knicks fan, as a teammate and as a close friend."
Thomas said he looks forward to maintaining his friendship with Anthony when the two players are older, but noted that for now, the two players are preparing to face each other in the opening game of the season.
"You already know that I'm going to get after you," he wrote.