Carmelo Anthony was just introduced as a member of the New York Knicks in a press conference before the team's game against the Milwaukee Bucks. He was introduced along with Chauncey Billups and team owner James Dolan, in front of a mob of media members. Anthony's smile beamed as he said multiple times that the trade was a "dream come true."
"I felt like I was still coming in just for a shootaround for an opposing team. It didn't sink it that I'm a New York Knick," Anthony said. "It's a dream come true for me."
The press conference was a strange one at times, one that's par for the course with the Knicks. Before Anthony spoke, Dolan took the podium to shoot down suggestions that former general manager Isiah Thomas orchestrated the trade, against the wishes of president of basketball operations Donnie Walsh and coach Mike D'Antoni.
"Donnie, Mike, and I were completely coordinated on this process from start to finish. The idea that we were not in complete agreement is not true," Dolan said. "While Isiah Thomas is a very good friend of mine, he was not at all involved in this process. He wasn't advising me or telling me what to do in any way, and any reports that indicated that are simply untrue and fiction in their mind."
Dolan also, curiously, gave special reference to Anthony's agent Leon Rose and wife LaLa Vasquez. An extended photo session followed, with Amar'e Stoudemire crashing the stage to jump into shots with Anthony and Billups.
Anthony said he would have likely signed with the Knicks in free agency, but the prospect of a new collective bargaining agreement complicated matters. He said he talked to his family and mutually decided that New York was where he wanted to be.
"I'm just glad that it's over with. My mind was everywhere, but at the end of the day. I was still able to focus in and play basketball," he said. "The decision I made is based on myself and my family. When I sat down with my family and made this collective decision, New York was a place to bring my talent."
Anthony pledged to sacrifice scoring to help the team, saying defense was his "focus" and that he didn't need to score "20-30 points" every night because of the presence of Amar'e Stoudemire. He scoffed at the suggestion that the Knicks gave up too much to get him, saying that "I'm pretty sure that if any of you are GMs, you'd want me and Amare on the same team too."
Billups, meanwhile, was much more subdued and admitted that he has to leave home in Denver. However, he also said he was "excited for this challenge" and that he "knew how badly [Anthony] wanted this to happen."