Carmelo Anthony Felt 'Stabbed in the Back', 'Pushed Out' by Knicks

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2017

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony (7) in the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony had some things to say about the New York Knicks before his new team faces his old one in Thursday's season opener.

According to ESPN.com, Anthony said he was "pushed out" by the Knicks and felt "stabbed in the back." New York traded him to the Thunder this offseason after a tumultuous tenure that included playoff appearances and public back-and-forths with then-president Phil Jackson.

"I always envisioned myself coming back, even when I was being pushed out," Anthony said. "I think for me, I knew what was going on behind closed doors, I knew the talk that was happening. I just wanted them to come to me direct and say, 'Look, this is what we're thinking,' and not have to read it or hear about it and then go to them and say, 'What is this?' If they felt that I just wanted them to be honest and direct."

He continued, "I think I was very honest and direct with them about wanting to be in New York, wanting to be on a winning team, wanting to have a good team. I was very honest with that. I just didn't feel like they were honest with me."

The ESPN.com report noted Jackson discussed trading Anthony a number of times and suggested he wanted the 10-time All-Star to waive his no-trade clause. Anthony also said he lost faith in the then-president after he made the playoffs in each of his first three seasons with the Knicks and missed them in the last four.

"I was always, 'I'm going to put my trust in Phil, I'm going to put my trust in Phil,'" Anthony said. "That diminished after a while. I'm out here doing everything I can and I'm still getting stabbed in the back. I'm not trusting in that anymore. I'm trusting in these guys [teammates] that are out here. Whoever's out here, this is who I'm dealing with."

Attention now turns to the upcoming season for the NBA's scoring champion in 2012-13.

He will team up with reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and Paul George on the Thunder in an effort to challenge the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets in the Western Conference.

The Thunder figure to be one of the league's most intriguing teams, seeing as how Westbrook led the NBA among players who played at least 15 minutes per game with a 40.8 percent usage rate, per NBA.com. George and Anthony were also in the top 20 at 29 percent, meaning the threesome will need to figure a way to effectively share the ball.

If they do, Anthony can put his Knicks tenure far in the rearview mirror on the way to another playoff appearance.

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