The latter part of Carmelo Anthony's tenure with the New York Knicks was weird, to say the least. Usually when an All-Star has a public breakup with his team, it's the star who wants out. In Melo's case, it was the Knicks who were seemingly trying to get rid of him.
The ugliness included then-Knicks president Phil Jackson publicly stating that he felt Anthony would be happier elsewhere, and finally, well after Jackson and the team parted ways, Carmelo was dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder in late September in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick.
Anthony will return to Madison Square Garden for the first time since the trade on Saturday, and will possibly play against former teammate and new face of the Knicks franchise, Kristaps Porzingis, whose . In the Thunder's last game against the Indiana Pacers, Paul George was booed mercilessly by his former team's crowd. But Porzingis says that Anthony should get no such treatment.
"I think he was as professional as he can be in his time here in New York, so I don't see why they would not receive him with love," Porzingis said Thursday, via ESPN.
Porzingis was reportedly extremely upset with the way that Jackson handled the Anthony situation, so much so that he skipped his exit meeting with the team following last season. Porzingis has been nothing but complimentary of Anthony, and has credited him with being a great teammate and helping him develop.
The New York crowd is notoriously harsh, but it would definitely be a surprise to see Anthony booed in his return. Sure he didn't lead them to a championship (or anywhere close), but Anthony never really did anything that would make the home fans turn against him. It wasn't his fault that the front office mortgaged the future in the trade that brought him over from the Denver Nuggets back in 2011.