NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Carmelo Anthony says “a lot of people jumped the gun” when he announced he’d test free agency after the 2013-14 season.
It doesn’t mean he’s planning to leave the Knicks. And it doesn’t mean he won’t recruit players to come to New York.
“They pulled all the strings to get me here, and I wanted to be here,” Anthony said during a TNT interview before Thursday’s 82-81 loss in Chicago. “And I want to retire in New York, let’s be quite frank. I think a lot of people jumped the gun when I said I wanted to be a free agent.”
The Knicks acquired Anthony in a Feb. 2011 mega-trade with the Denver Nuggets. He plans to opt out of the final year of his contract, which would put him in position to cash in big time, be it through a new long-term contract with New York or another suitor.
Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley criticized Anthony on Monday for voicing his decision, saying the Knicks star should be focused instead on selling potential free agents on the Big Apple.
“I want people to come to play in New York,” Anthony said Thursday. “I want them to want to play in New York. I want New York to be that place where guys want to come play.”
Anthony wouldn’t talk about the TNT interview after the game.
By opting out of his final season — worth $23.3 million — he’ll be able to sign a five-year contract with the Knicks for $129.1 million, according to ESPN. If he goes elsewhere he’d get a maximum of $95.9 million over four years, ESPN reported.
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