NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Carmelo Anthony is the undisputed leader of the Knicks, but does his sports loyalty spread across New York City?

Not necessarily.

The five-time NBA All-Star, who moved from Brooklyn to Baltimore when he was eight years old, is a diehard Orioles fan. With the Yanks and the O’s in the midst of a fierce American League Division Series battle, Melo has been quiet about his rooting interest.

But when asked directly about where his fandom lies, he couldn’t help but tell it like it is.

“I’ve been an Orioles fan since I was eight years old,’’ Anthony told the New York Post. “I’ve never been a Yankee fan. I support some guys on the team. I have mixed feelings now. Here in New York, you got to support the Yankees.’’

The small forward has an Orioles tattoo on his forearm, and he told the newspaper that if the Yankees and Orioles play a deciding Game 5 in the Bronx — Game 4 is on Thursday night — he might have to wear a half Orioles/half Yankees cap to spread the love.

The baseball postseason aside, the six-foot-eight, 230-pounder is preparing himself for the start of the 2012-2013 season.  The Knicks will play their first preseason game on Thursday night against the Wizards at the Verizon Center.

In his second season with New York last year, Melo averaged 22.6 points, 3.6 assists and 6.3 rebounds in 55 games played.

Do you have a problem with Melo rooting for the Orioles? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…

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