The Orange legend remains the face of the only National Championship in Syracuse basketball history, and was back at the Carrie Dome Tuesday for an exhibition game between his Knicks and the Sixers. The Knicks won 84-77.
The night was highlighted with former Orange greats with Michael Carter-Williams and Jerami Grant being back in Syracuse as well, but neither played due to injury. Anthony was the lone show on Jim Boeheim Court, dropping 17 points and grabbing seven rebounds in his first time back in Syracuse for a game in which his Knicks were playing since 2012.
After the game, the 2003 NCAA champion said he appreciates the time he gets to spend back at Syracuse, even though he has been back before.
“Just riding around – from the hotel to the Carrier Dome, just seeing all of the spots and my old stomping grounds.”
You don’t have to look far to see Melo’s last impact on the program. The title lifted SU to a new level of success, and permanently put the school on the map as championship contenders. Recruiting has ratcheted up to incredible levels, McDonald’s All-Americans are coming annually to CNY. The basketball facility bearing his name is one of the premier complexes in the nation. Student attendance at games is through the roof. Syracuse has been ranked #1 and made the Final Four again in the decade since Melo left. It shows no signs of slowing down.
The Knicks are 2-2 in the preseason after their win on Tuesday, Anthony’s fourth game under new head coach Derek Fisher.
This is now Anthony’s 12th year in the league, and prior to this season, Fisher has been someone who he has played against. Now, Anthony is playing for Fisher and according to Melo, it’s “weird.”
“Just a couple of months ago, I was playing against him. Now he’s my head coach. It’s easy too,” Anthony said. “He was always a respectable player and a respectable person.”
Anthony has shown a commitment to New York and the Knicks organization. During the summer, he signed a five-year extension hoping to build a championship contending team.
Posted: Austin Pollack