Carmelo Anthony joins Oklahoma City Thunder around Russell Westbrook’s loyalty

The New York Knicks made it official on Monday that they traded Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder for center Enes Kanter, forward Doug McDermott and the Chicago Bulls’ 2018 second-round draft pick. The news broke Saturday evening as the 10-time All-Star was speculated to be traded at least sometime this summer. The trade rumors included Anthony joining his friend LeBron James in Cleveland or potentially headed to Houston to join the Rockets.

As media day carried on for most of the NBA teams today, Carmelo was able to get his two cents on why he chose to waive his no-trade clause and head to Loud City. “It’s a different energy, a different focus, a different motivation that myself have, Paul has and Russ has, being that we haven’t won a championship yet in our career, and we see that, and that’s our ultimate goal.”

When asked about convincing from Russell Westbrook to join the Thunder Anthony advised, “Russ don’t really do the convincing,” Anthony said Monday, with a laugh. “He came to New York and played pickup at my gym. I saw him in Paris at fashion week. Me and Russ became closer and closer over the years. He was a big part, he was a big reason why I wanted to come here. To see his loyalty to the city, to this organization, what he was able to do on the court — I wanted to be a part of that.”

The Thunder will feature three All-Stars on opening night when they ironically will host the New York Knicks. Paul George and Anthony will join the reigning MVP Russell Westbrook in the starting line-up. With Anthony shifting to OKC, the Western Conference becomes even deeper.

Anthony posted a farewell article to New York on his personal website Monday. The article titled “DEAR NEW YORK” reflects his memories and best wishes to his now former team.