New Oklahoma City Thunder Star Carmelo Anthony seems pretty excited about sharing the floor with his new teammates in the upcoming NBA regular season.
The 10-time All-Star left the New York Knicks for OKC after a six-year stint at Madison Square Garden, where he failed to bring home the gold, or even make any sort of impact in the Eastern Conference. In his six years suiting up for the Knicks, Anthony made it to the playoffs on three occasions, never advancing past the second round.
The player has since put the disappointments of playing for New York behind him and is looking forward to an exciting affair in Oklahoma. And having teamed up with the electric Russell Westbrook and the prolific Paul George, there’s no telling what the trio can achieve during the season.
Now back in the Western conference, things are poised to be even more difficult for the 33-year-old. The West has been the dominant conference in the NBA for quite some time now, and next season is unlikely to be any different.
Anthony, though, insists the conference comparisons had no bearing on his decision to join the Thunder.
Speaking to The Vertical, Anthony declared that good teams should thrive on good competition, but the East and West thing was far from being a factor when he opted to leave New York.
“You’ve got to want that. You’ve got to have that edge about you. We’ve got that edge about us. That was no factor in my decision, whether it was East or West.”
Over the years, the New York native built a reputation as a selfish player, something he staunchly denies, claiming that he plays according to who’s around him. With two All-Star caliber players set to play alongside him over the next season, it’s all left to time to tell how much he can work with other big-name players; but the small forward expects to have loads of fun on a team comprised of pieces whom he could play off of, and vice versa.
“I’m a product of my environment,” Anthony explained. “I’ve always been that. You put me in any situation, I’ll make an adjustment to that situation. That’s what I’m going to do, regardless of where I’m at.
“This is just me. This is Melo having fun again. 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.”
Anthony will be the first to admit that he doesn’t expect an easy ride just because he’s part of a “Big 3,” but he does note that a burden has been lifted off of his shoulders, as well as his new teammates’, who will have to compete as hard as they possibly can in every game they play during the season.
“It’s lifted a burden off of me,” he said. “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.”
[Featured Image by by Elsa/Getty Images]