Carmelo Anthony returned to Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, ready to face whatever the New York Knicks had for him. But instead of booing or showing discontent, Knicks fans decided to show their appreciation to their former star.
The Thunder as a team were still getting settled after a triple overtime game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night, one that was as feisty as it was entertaining. Still, for Melo this was always going to be the big game of the road trip.
He was, however, all smiles when he walked into MSG as a visitor for the first time since he was traded.
According to reporters at MSG, there was a mixed reaction when Melo and the Thunder came out on the court for their pregame shoot around.
It’s important to note, of course, that he was wearing his hoodie warmups when he took the floor. He also chatted with Spike Lee and a longtime security guard during warmups. But the big moment would come when he was introduced in the starting lineup for the Thunder.
But not only did he get big cheers, he got a tribute video from the Knicks.
Overall, it’s a great homecoming for Melo here. There’s not nearly as much animosity for Anthony in New York as there is for, say, Paul George in Indiana. Too many fans were just as upset at the Knicks themselves about how they handled the whole Melo situation to truly get a terrible welcome back.