While it maybe perceived by some that the reason Carmelo Anthony decided to resign with the New York Knickerbockers was for the money, he insists that it was not. However, it was his confidence in team president Phil Jackson that the New York Knicks are not far off that far away from contending for an NBA title.
"I want to win. I don't care about the money," Anthony told ESPN.com. "I believe Phil will do what he has to do to take care of that. I don't think we're that far away. People use 'rebuilding' too loosely."
In his first public comments since signing his $124 million dollar contract, Anthony spoke about how difficult his decision was.
"It was overwhelming," Anthony said. "It was stressful in the final days, one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make."
Anthony also spoke that in the end, his decision came down between the Knicks and Bulls.
"I was flip-flopping," he admitted. "It was hard. It was Chicago, but then after I met with L.A., it was L.A. But it came back to Chicago -- and was pretty much always Chicago or New York. That's a situation where I could have walked in now to an opportunity to compete for the next however many years."
Another reason why Anthony is confident that the Knickerbockers can contend is LeBron James leaving the Miami Heat. Anthony believes that James leaving Miami and returning to Cleveland has made the Eastern Conference wide open.
"It balances everything out," he said. "There's balance from one to eight right now. The East is balanced."
He comes back to a different Knicks club that traded away starters Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton in exchange for point guard Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Shane Larkin and Wayne Ellington. The Knicks drafted small forward Cleanthony Early with their 2nd round pick and signed free agent center Jason Smith.
"I feel like we have a brand-new team," Anthony said. "It's a new beginning. It's excited."
Jackson is still finding ways to improve the roster, and has been reportedly trying to trade Amar'e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert, and J.R Smith. He has checked in with the Minnesota Timberwolves about Kevin love, but it looks like New York doesn't have the pieces. He offered Tim Hardaway Jr. Shumpert, and Stoudemire for Love. Not surprisingly, the Timberwolves turned it down.