Melo: Knicks got Bulls-eye on their Backs
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This is why[Only registered and activated users can see images. Click Here To Register...]wanted to come to the Knicks. It isn't only about bringing an NBA title home. It's about this city, his city.
Anthony was as cool as the spring night last night as he sat in Suite 4 at Yankee Stadium dressed in designer shades and a multi-color sweater. And he was surrounded by big-money employees of broker-dealer WJB Capital Group.
You don't get this in Denver.
"The excitement is back," Anthony told The Post. "We were in the playoffs, the Rangers were in the playoffs, now we got the Yankees. New York is the place, year round, and we're going to be part of it."
How big a part?
Anthony wasn't about to declare the Knicks the favorite to win next year's NBA Finals. But he believes the team's playoff push and a gutty first-round effort in which a hobbled team pushed the Celtics has set the stage for next season.
"There's a bull's-eye on us and it's getting bigger," he said. "When you have a team with me, Amar'e [Stoudemire] and Chauncey Billups, that's already a bull's-eye, but now we're going to have a year under us."
Anthony said he understands that Knicks fans might have been frustrated the team didn't achieve greatness after acquiring him in a February blockbuster trade with the Nuggets. After nine seasons in the NBA, he's learned the importance of continuity and commitment.
"A lot of people thought, 'They got Melo, they're to win it,' " he said. "It doesn't work that way. You have to have a commitment from everyone to win. We have that now. We're all committed to putting in the work to bring a title to New York."
Anthony didn't talk about the possibility of the Knicks adding additional free-agent stars such as guard Chris Paul or center Dwight Howard. He has seen Stoudemire try to play through agonizing back spasms in the playoffs and watched Billups knock down countless big shots.
He doesn't care if fans think of the Knicks as his team or Stoudemire's team. The Brooklyn native, who led Syracuse to the 2003 NCAA title, has one goal:
Win it all.
"Knicks fans have no idea yet what they have in him," said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, who was at the stadium for a Coaches vs[Only registered and activated users can see images. Click Here To Register...]event. "The only thing that matters to Carmelo is winning. It's all he's about. He's a very, very special player."
And he's in a very, very special place.
As Anthony was readying to leave the stadium, Yankees employees who are accustomed to seeing superstars such as Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez on a nightly basis, politely gathered on the suite-level floor to catch a glimpse of the Knicks' newest superstar.
He is comfortable in this setting, smiling to all, nodding to well wishers with his personable son Kiyan by his side.
"New York always has a bull's-eye on it," said Anthony. "This is where you want to succeed. It's why Amar'e came here. The bull's-eye is going to be bigger next season and we'll be ready for it."