Carmelo Anthony: Love from Knicks Fans in MSG Return 'Felt Extremely Good'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 2, 2020

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 1: Carmelo Anthony #00 of the Portland Trail Blazers reacts to a play against the New York Knicks on January 1, 2020 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE  (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony received a loud ovation from New York Knicks fans at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday upon his return to the arena where he played from 2011-17. 

In addition to their warm welcome during introductions, the fans also chanted "We want Melo!" during the game:

Anthony told reporters postgame he appreciated the fans' reaction: 

This was Anthony's second time playing at MSG since departing the Knicks, as he visited New York with the Oklahoma City Thunder in Dec. 2017.

The fans' reaction was a proper recognition of a player who was as a prolific scorer in a Knicks uniform. Tommy Beer of NBC/Rotoworld provided some stats reflecting that fact:

Anthony averaged 24.7 points per game over seven seasons in New York.

The Knicks only made the playoffs three times (winning one series) with Anthony as their leader, but he guided the 2012-13 team to a 54-28 mark, which stands as the team's best single-season record since 1996-97.

As for the game, the Knicks triumphed 117-93 behind 22 points each from Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson. Anthony led all scorers with 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting and seven boards.

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