When Carmelo Anthony asked for a trade from the Denver Nuggets, it came with one request: that the New York Knicks would be the team he'd be dealt to.
See, Carmelo didn't just want out of Denver because he hated the Nuggets. Rather, he wanted out because he had a dream.
He had a dream of playing for the Knicks, in New York, at madison Square Garden. He had a dream of being the hero of a city devoted to the game of basketball.
Evidently, he got his dream in February of 2011, when he was traded from Denver to New York in a huge blockbuster deal. Since then, Carmelo has always been a Knick, and the Knicks have always revolved around Carmelo.
It was almost like he was born to be a New York basketball star.
Fast forward six years later, and things haven't quite turned out how everyone thought it would. Things got ugly quick for the organization, and Melo was left in the middle of a shattered basketball team.
He and the team had enough, and he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder just a few days ago.
Despite all the drama, however, Carmelo till took the time to write New York one final goodbye. Because for him, New York City was more than just a place to play basketball, it was (and still is) home.
Here's the heartfelt letter Anthony wrote to New York (via thisismelo.com), which demonstrates just how much love he had for the city:
Dear NEW YORK,
From the day I first met you, I knew we were meant to be together. It was love at first sight. From a very young age, you taught me something that I will never forget- how to survive within the belly of the beast. I must admit it was scary, frightening at times. But, not fully aware of my purpose, I was being molded and prepared for the rest of my life without even knowing. My first nine years went by so fast. By the time I really was starting to understand, it was time for me to move on and start another chapter in my life. That chapter was called BALTIMORE. Instantly, I’d fallen in love again. (Hence the saying LOVE HAS NO BARRIERS). I guess I was all too familiar with the Belly of the Beast. I learned how to survive, I learned the sense of community, I learned about responsibility, as well as becoming a P.O.M.E (Product Of My Environment). You catch my drift. Then I had to depart again to go on this long journey where my ART OF WAR skills would be tested. Lots of good times and lots of bad times. Losing myself at times, questioning myself in the midst of finding KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM, and UNDERSTANDING. Several years, months, days, hours, seconds went by and I found myself having an opportunity to get back with my first love. (Its called CIPHER in my lessons). It was a sense of rebirth.
I came to NYC to B (Be) Born again. The sense of something extraordinary happening left me with a lot of sleepless nights dreaming of possibilities. The one thing I kept telling myself was ‘Make my mark in NYC and I’d be a made man’.
New York equipped me to make it in any other place in the world. It taught me how to Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable. Saying Goodbye is the hardest thing to do. I never thought I would, especially to you. No one will ever take your place. It’s hard to find someone like you, so know you will always be missed. You helped me laugh. You dried my tears. Because of you, I have no fears. You came into my life and I was blessed. It’s time to raise my hand and say goodbye. It’s not the end, because like I’ve always said, NYC ‘til the end.
I’ve known you for years now, and I must say they’ve been the best years I’ve ever had. You helped me become the person I am today. I just want you to know YOU will always be in my heart. No matter what happens, I will always LOVE YOU. Although this goodbye is just temporary, this is the hardest goodbye for me to say. I wipe the tears off my cheek and smile at the same time because I know that we will meet again someday. “I’ve had my shining moments, upon this life darkened stage.” And in my BOOK of WONDERMENTS, you will never be just another page. Your bright lights will travel with me far past when all the other lights go out.
“The years pass. The times change. The only thing that survives and transcends this inevitable process, that shines brighter with each new era is the record of a GREAT human spirit that has endured struggle and remained true to its deepest convictions to the very end.” I had to ask myself, toward what goal or achievement am I striving in life? I know life can be full of contradictions. It can be unfair, unforgiving, too. I cannot afford to dismiss it and turn my back to the world. I was given a choice to sink or swim. I’m choosing to swim. ‘Til the very end. No matter how much the seas around me may rage.”
Thank you to All My Fans who supported me through Thick and Thin. And those who continued to support The Knicks regardless of the outcome. Thank You to Jim Dolan and the Knicks organization and all the hardworking people that don’t get the credit they deserve. And most importantly, Thank you to the City of New York for allowing me to represent OUR city. 7eace be with you