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Carmelo Anthony has been a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder for almost two weeks, and the 10-time All-Star says he can be himself and focus on basketball now that he’s not part of the dysfunction and chaos which surrounded the New York Knicks.
After enduring all the drama with ex-Knicks president Phil Jackson over the past few seasons coupled with New York being a terrible franchise, Anthony got the fresh start he needed when he was traded to the Thunder — ending his seven-year run in the Big Apple.
The 33-year-old Anthony is enjoying every minute of being around a winning culture and stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
Anthony claims the Thunder’s new Big Three has him motivated and happy again.
“This is just me, this is Melo having fun again,” Anthony told the Vertical. “This is Melo being motivated again. This is Melo having pieces around him who he can play off of and who they can play off of. This is something that I’ve always wanted.
“At the end of the day, it’s basketball for me. With basketball, you make adjustments. It will all come together. We see it in practice when Russ is with us. We see what the potential of what this team can be. It’s a lifted burden off of me. And I’m pretty sure it’s the same off of Paul and Russ. We talk about those things. We don’t want to have to do it every single night, every single play, but we know we’re going to have to bring our games every single night in order for us to be successful.”
The Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers were the two teams Anthony supposedly wanted to be traded to this offseason.
Once the Thunder acquired George and made it known to Anthony and his camp that they had interest in the 14-year veteran, however, Anthony agreed to waive his no-trade clause for OKC, a destination he says he’s always had in the back of his mind.
“Believe it or not, it [OKC] was always a situation where it was like I’m looking but I’m not too sure. I’ll keep y’all in the back for right now, but y’all offer something that’s worth it, then we can look at it.”