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Blazers’ Carmelo Anthony acknowledges it will be ‘special’ to face Knicks again

Carmelo Anthony, Knicks, Taj Gibson comments

Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony will take the floor Tuesday night versus the New York Knicks, a franchise he led for seven seasons.

Ahead of tip-off, Anthony was reflective on the journey he has taken to get back into the league for another matchup against his former team:

“It’s a big deal [playing the Knicks] from the standpoint of I know everybody in New York will be watching, even though it’s a late game,” Anthony said, via Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “Family, friends. It’s always that special moment anyway. Just people to see me back playing against the Knicks.”

Anthony’s arrival in New York in February 2011 was a paradigm shift for the franchise. The Knicks made the playoffs each of the first three seasons Anthony was under contract, with the 2012-13 year marking both the last time New York reached the postseason, in addition to the last time it won a playoff series.

That season saw Anthony average 28.7 points per game, leading the league in scoring. Of the six full seasons he spent with Madison Square Garden as his home arena, Anthony was an All-Star each year.

Now, at 35 years old, Carmelo Anthony isn’t the same prolific scorer he was in New York, but he still has a starting role in the league, something that wasn’t a reality even a month ago. While Tuesday’s game will be special, Portland travels to MSG on Jan. 1 for an evening Anthony is even more likely to remember.