All-Star forward stays in New York, signing a reported five-year, $129 million deal.
News broke Saturday that Melo was going to reportedly re-sign with the New York Knicks, choosing his current team over his biggest suitors in the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. On Sunday, it became official.
The All-Star small forward signed a contract with the Knicks that is near the max, ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported the deal is between $122 to $129 million over five years. The amount of the deal was $30 million more than any other team could offer him.
Anthony also took to his website Sunday to pen a short letter entitled, "My City, My Heart," to his fans.
"A few years ago I dreamed of coming back to New York City, the place of my birth, and on February 23, 2011 that became a reality," Anthony said in the statement. "This organization has supported me and in return, I want to stay and build here with this city and my team. At this pivotal juncture in my career, I owed it to myself and my family to explore all of the options available to me. Through it all, my heart never wavered.
"I will always remember this chapter in my life,” Anthony added about being wooed by teams like the Bulls, Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets in the free agency market. “In the end, I am a New York Knick at heart. I am looking forward to continuing my career in Orange & Blue and to work with Phil Jackson, a champion who builds championship teams. Madison Square Garden is the mecca of basketball and I am surrounded by the greatest fans in the world.”
Jackson, the Knicks president, and coach Derek Fisher share in his excitement.
"After three months of questions around Carmelo Anthony's return to the New York Knicks we are now happy to know that we have the cornerstone of what we envision as a 'team of excellence,'" Jackson said in a statement, as reported by ESPN. "[Knicks general manager] Steve Mills and I have assured Carmelo through our conversations that we share the vision and the determination to build this team."
Added Fisher in a statement, also reported by ESPN: "I have had the opportunity to be around some of the greatest players in our game, and now I have the honor of coaching Carmelo. This is an exciting time for the New York Knicks franchise and our fans. I look forward to working with him and building something special together."
Already, there are reports of the Knicks being a player for the services of Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol in the NBA 2015 free agency market.
In the immediacy, the Knicks will look to improve upon their dismal 37-45 finish last season. Melo has averaged 26.5 points per game since joining the Knicks in 2011.
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