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Carmelo Anthony Hopes Knicks Retire His No. 7 Jersey at Madison Square Garden

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2019

New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett, left, greets Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony before an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)
Steve Dykes/Associated Press

Carmelo Anthony said Tuesday he hopes the New York Knicks will eventually retire his No. 7 jersey in the rafters of Madison Square Garden.

Anthony scored 16 points Tuesday night to help lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 115-87 home victory over the Knicks. He'll make his latest return to MSG for a rematch between the teams on New Year's Day.

"Do I think about it? Anybody would want to get that opportunity if it's there," he told reporters. "We'll see when that time comes. Hopefully, they'll hang '7' somewhere up there."

Melo also confirmed he worked with his representatives to explore a possible return to the Knicks during the offseason.

Frank Isola of The Athletic reported Tuesday there was mutual interest between the two sides. Anthony wanted to sign early in order to help the front office recruit free agents, but the team only wanted to add him if they also landed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, both of whom instead joined the Brooklyn Nets.

The 10-time All-Star's extended stay on the open market, which began when he was waived by the Chicago Bulls in February following a trade from the Houston Rockets, finally ended when he signed with the Blazers in mid-November.

He's averaged 15.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists across 11 appearances for Portland.

Anthony started his career with the Denver Nuggets, then spent seven seasons with the Knicks before being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in September 2017.

The New York City native won a scoring title with the Knicks, but the team never advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs during his tenure.

It's unclear whether that's enough to place his No. 7 jersey alongside the select group of Walt Frazier (No. 10), Earl Monroe and Dick McGuire (both No. 15), Willis Reed (No. 19), Dave DeBusschere (No. 22), Bill Bradley (No. 24) and Patrick Ewing (No. 33).

In the short term, he should get a warm reception when he returns to MSG to open 2020.

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