A move to “The Mecca of Basketball” is always headline news for any NBA player, but when it involves a four-time NBA All Star it’s an even bigger story. The New York Knicks forged ahead with the much expected deal to land former Denver Nuggets superstar Carmelo Anthony in a 12-player, three-team trade on Feb. 21. After months of anticipation and debate, New York traded forwards Danilo Gallinari, Anthony Randolph and Wilson Chandler, starting point guard Raymond Felton and backup center Timofey Mozgov to Denver for guards Chauncey Billups and Anthony Carter and forwards Shelden Williams and Renaldo Balkman. New York also swapped little-used center Eddy Curry with the Minnesota Timberwolves for forward Corey Brewer.
The Knicks and Nuggets ramped up talks over the past weekend after news leaked out that the New Jersey Nets were trying to position themselves to make a deal for Anthony, but the 26 year old’s reluctance to sign an extension with the Nets spurned any trade. Anthony, however, did sign a three-year, $65 million extension with the Knicks before the deal was completed and will team with six-time All Star Amar’e Stoudemire to give New York one of the best one-two punches in the league.
Stoudemire appeared at a Knicks press conference on Feb. 22 to answer questions about his new teammate, saying: “Every team needs a 1, 1A punch,” Stoudemire said. “And so with the ways that we both can score…we’re very versatile, so it’s hard to guard us.”
Anthony, a Baltimore native, will play his first game as a Knick in the famous Madison Square Garden on Feb. 23 against the Milwaukee Bucks.