The Oklahoma City Thunder travel to New York to play the Knicks on Saturday night, which means a very special reunion is set to take place: Carmelo Anthony’s return to Madison Square Garden.
Anthony, who spent the past seven seasons donning orange and blue with the Knicks before being traded last summer, knows the strengths and weaknesses of each Knick player and how they want to play. He knows the arena, knows the fans, and knows the facility.
But walking into his former workplace and heading to the visitors locker room may feel strange at first. Perhaps a warm reaction from the crowd may help, if Knicks fans choose to go that route, as Melo’s former teammate Kristaps Porzingis thinks they should.
“I think he was as professional as he can be in his time here in New York, so I don’t see why they would not receive him with love,” Porzingis said Thursday, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.
Anthony, who served as a mentor to Porzingis when they were teammates with the Knicks, is set to play on Saturday. However, Porzingis will sit the contest out due to a knee injury, meaning we won’t be able to see the two former teammates go at it.
Because of the team’s lack of success during Anthony’s run, some question whether he truly was a team player and hard worker. Kristaps Porzingis strongly disagrees with that notion.
“Not at all,” Porzingis said. “He was here for a long time. For him, it was also hard. He was trying to do the right things to win, but it was just not clicking. It was not the right pieces around him to make that happen.
“I know he wants to win. If he didn’t want to win, he would have probably stayed here or went somewhere else besides OKC because he has an actual chance to win.”