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Though the Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York Knicks game hasn't been the marquee event we hoped for with the recent suspension of LeBron James, there's still one major draw for Knicks fans, and that's the return of Carmelo Anthony who spent seven seasons in the blue and orange. Though he was suiting up for the Lakers, that didn't stop everyone inside Madison Square Garden from giving Anthony a standing ovation when he checked into the game at the end of the first quarter.

The support from the Knicks fans is a testament to Anthony's time with the franchise, where he led the team to three playoff appearances, was named an All-Star in all seven seasons he spent there and holds the record among active players for most points scored in Madison Square Garden (5,684). 

Before the matchup against the Knicks, Anthony spoke about how New York would always be home to him despite having not played for the team since 2017. 

"This is home," Anthony said via SNY. "My family's here, my son is in school here. I live here. So, outside of that, coming back to New York, understanding our fan base here, the city, the love I have here in this city. What I was able to represent when I was here is kinda bigger than basketball. Bigger than sports. I embrace that. People that's here knows that and understands that. It's a feeling that's hard to explain unless you're here and you're actually feeling that energy. It's a lot different seeing it from the outside in. When you're here, you feel that energy. It's a big difference."

That feeling of appreciation is clearly mutual for Knicks fans when it comes to Anthony based on them showering him with applause, regardless of who he plays for. 

Anthony finished with 12 points as he struggled from the field, connecting on just three of his 14 shots, as his former team held off his current one, 106-100. The win moves the Knicks to 10-8, while the Lakers (9-10) have now dropped four of their last five.