CARMELO Anthony and Paul George may have teamed up with Russell Westbrook to form a superstar trio with the Oklahoma City Thunder in a busy offseason.
But Anthony revealed Thursday (Friday, Manila time), that he and George would have formed a different powerhouse team if a draft-night deal wasn’t nixed at the last minute.
In a Sirius XM interview, reported by ESPN’s Ian Begley, the star forward who was then with the New York Knicks bared he was part of a deal already agreed upon with the Knicks, George’s former team Indiana Pacers, and the Cleveland Cavaliers to send the pair to team up with LeBron James. But the trade didn’t push through.
“Actually, it was funny because me and PG was supposed to be in Cleveland on draft night. We were communicating about that. The deal was actually done, and it got called off on draft night, so me and PG stayed connected throughout the course of the [offseason],” said Anthony, who added they never imagined they would end up in OKC as the pair never mentioned the Thunder in their conversations.
It wasn’t the only deal that got called off in an offseason that the Knicks spent negotiating with other teams for a trade involving Anthony.
The Knicks and the Houston Rockets, who had acquired Chris Paul to team up with James Harden, were discussing a trade that was near completion before talks fizzled as they struggled to find a third team necessary for the deal to push through.
“A deal was done with Houston early, then for some reason, whatever happened behind the scenes, it didn't go through. It fell through, then we had to really start paying attention and thinking about other options," said Anthony.
Now with OKC, Anthony feels he’s find the right environment to thrive after a tumultuous season in New York.
“From an individual standpoint I feel born again, feel rebirth, a different type of energy within myself, around the guys, around the organization, around the city. You can feel it,” he said.
Coincidentally, Anthony and his new Thunder team will host his former Knicks squad in OKC’s season opener on October 19.