Former Knicks and current Bulls forward Carmelo Anthony received a standing ovation during a stoppage of play in Sunday's Knicks-Heat game at Madison Square Garden.
"I had some great years in this building,'' Anthony told MSG Network, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman. "I look forward to coming back and playing in this building some more. The fans have always been good to me here, too."
Anthony, who was in New York to watch Dwyane Wade's penultimate game at The Garden, was traded from the Rockets to the Bulls earlier this week, however he won't play with Chicago, as the Bulls plan to either trade him before the Feb. 7 trade deadline or release him.
"At this point, I just want to be happy," Anthony said. "I think I put myself in a good, peaceful mind state to able to focus in on what I need to focus on. Whatever is going to make me happy, we're going to make it happen."
The 34-year-old last played for Houston on Nov. 8, averaging 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds in 10 games. His brief tenure with the Rockets was mired in struggle, as the Rockets went 4-6 with Anthony, and he made 1 of 11 field goals in his last game.
Anthony, who has averaged 24 points and 6.5 rebounds in his 16-year career, has been part of five teams over the past 16 months. After six and a half seasons with New York, the Knicks traded him to the Thunder in September 2017.
"I thought he brought an exciting brand of basketball for the city," Wade said after the Heat won 106-97. "He embraced being here. Not a lot of athletes can embrace what comes with playing in the Garden and playing in New York. Carmelo embraced it. He had an amazing run here with this team. As an individual player he did some incredible things."
He spent one season with Oklahoma City before he was traded to the Hawks in a three-team deal last July. He and the Hawks agreed to a buyout without him ever playing a game, and he signed with the Rockets in August.
Knicks head coach David Fizdale never got the chance to coach Anthony in New York, however he said he thinks Anthony leaves a lasting legacy at The Garden.
"He made this place electric," Fizdale said. "Him being a New Yorker added a whole air to it. I know him being here tonight means a lot to a guy in the other locker room, D-Wade. They're really close and really good friends. I know him being here means a lot to him."