Carmelo Anthony Writes Letter to New York After Trade to Thunder from Knicks

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2017

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony rubs up the ball during pregame warmups before the start of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Sunday, March 12, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony wrote a letter saying goodbye to the city of New York on Monday after being traded from the New York Knicks to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"From the day I first met you, I knew we were meant to be together," Anthony opened the letter. "It was love at first sight. From a very young age you taught me something that I will never forget—how to survive within the belly of the beast.  I must admit it was scary, frightening at times. But, not fully aware of my purpose, I was being molded and prepared for the rest of my life without even knowing."

He also expressed that New York will always hold that special place to him.

"No one will ever take your place. It’s hard to find someone like you, so know you will always be missed. You helped me laugh. You dried my tears.  Because of you, I have no fears. You came into my life and I was blessed.  It’s time to raise my hand and say goodbye. It’s not the end, because like I’ve always said, NYC ‘til the end."

He concluded his love letter to New York by thanking the city's fans and the Knicks organization:

"Thank you to All My Fans who supported me through Thick and Thin. And those who continued to support The Knicks regardless of the outcome. Thank You to Jim Dolan and the Knicks organization and all the hardworking people that don't get the credit they deserve. And most importantly, Thank you to the City of New York for allowing me to represent OUR city."

Anthony, 33, spent the past seven seasons with the Knicks, averaging 24.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and a steal per game. He led the Knicks to the playoffs three times, though not since the 2012-13 season.

But his relationship with the Knicks deteriorated last season, as former team president Phil Jackson publicly lobbied for Anthony to waive his no-trade clause to be traded, ostensibly so Jackson could rebuild around young star Kristaps Porzingis. 

While Jackson was ultimately fired, it became clear this offseason that the relationship between Anthony and the organization was unlikely to be repaired, and he spent much of the summer entangled in trade rumors. Ultimately, the Knicks moved him to the Thunder—where he'll play with fellow superstars Russell Westbrook and Paul George—in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick.