Start spreading the news, Carmelo Anthony is staying in New York.
Anthony, a 7-time NBA All-Star, announced on his website on Sunday that he will be returning to the New York Knicks after exploring his options in free agency. Perhaps taking a cue from the heartfelt letter to Northeast Ohio that LeBron James used to announce his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Anthony shared a brief statement about his decision.
"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 wrote in the statement at ThisIsMelo.com. "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."
The Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers were among the teams hoping to lure Anthony away from Madison Square Garden. Fresh off the Knicks' dismal 2013-2014 season, Melo entertained their offers before opting to return to New York. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team but Chris Broussard of ESPN reported it would be for five years and worth more than $122 million, citing an unnamed source.
"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.'" Knicks president Phil Jackson said in a press release issued by the team on Sunday. "Steve Mills and I have assured Carmelo through our conversations, that we share the vision and the determination to build this team.”
Anthony joined the Knicks via trade in February 2011 and helped the team to three playoff appearances. The team reached fail to escape the first round of the playoffs in 2011 and 2012 but advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2013 after winning 54 games during the regular season. Anthony averaged 28.7 points per game during the 2013-2013 season to win his first career scoring title. With the Knicks struggling through a 37-45 and missed the playoffs, Jackson took over the Knicks' front office in March.
— NBA New York Knicks (@nyknicks) July 13, 2014