New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - After days of intense speculation concerning his future, Carmelo Anthony broke his silence on Sunday, announcing that he will indeed re-sign with the New York Knicks.
Anthony declared his return in a letter posted to the 2012-13 NBA scoring champion's official website. The Knicks then confirmed his decision by issuing a press release shortly after the statement came out.
"A few years ago I dreamed of coming back to New York City, the place of my birth, and on February 23, 2011 that became a reality," wrote Anthony. "[The Knicks] organization has supported me and in return, I want to stay and build here with this city and my team. At this pivotal juncture in my career, I owed it to myself and my family to explore all of the options available to me. Through it all, my heart never wavered.
"During this journey I met with some quality organizations who have amazing talent and leadership. I thank them for their consideration, belief in my talent, and opportunity to imagine the possibilities.
"I will always remember this chapter in my life. In the end, I am a New York Knick at heart."
The New York Daily News, citing a close friend of Anthony with knowledge of his plans, reported Wednesday that the seven-time All-Star had agreed to re-up with the Knicks for a full maximum contract that will pay him $129 million over five years.
Sources also told the Daily News that Anthony turned down a four-year max offer from the Los Angeles Lakers, with the Chicago Bulls also known to have been pursuit of the coveted free agent.
Anthony, who averaged 27.4 points, a career-best 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists while finishing second to league MVP Kevin Durant in the 2013-14 scoring race, also stated his support in new Knicks president Phil Jackson's efforts to rebuild the struggling franchise back into a championship contender.
"After three months of questions around Carmelo Anthony's return to the New York Knicks, we are now happy to know that we have the cornerstone of what we envision as a 'team of excellence.'" said Jackson in a statement. "[General manager] Steve Mills and I have assured Carmelo through our conversations, that we have the vision and the determination to build this team and he has clearly bought into our message."
After reaching the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2012-13, New York slumped to a 37-45 record this past season that triggered the dismissal of head coach Mike Woodson. Jackson hired recently retired point guard Derek Fisher to take over the position.
In three-plus seasons since joining the Knicks in a 2011 trade with the Denver Nuggets, Anthony has averaged 26.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists.