However, it’s no secret he wanted to be traded to the Houston Rockets. For most of the summer Houston — with Chris Paul and James Harden — was the only team he would waive his no-trade clause for. However, when that deal would not come together he eventually added Cleveland and OKC to the list, and he was quickly a member of the Thunder.
Anthony talked about all of it with Joel Meyers and Antonio Daniels on SiriusXM NBA Radio Wednesday night. He was asked when he expanded his list of potential destinations.
“I think it was within the last week, week and a half, before training camp. 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.
But then believe it or not I felt like I was going to be back in training camp and I would show up to media day in New York. Me and my team sat down on Friday night and was like, ‘Man, we best prepare for going back to media day on Monday and training camp that week.’ And then we got the call that said, ‘Would you open it up to OKC?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, at this point yeah.’ I don’t think it would have been beneficial for me to come back to media day after everything that was going on in the offseason. For me to have to deal with that it would have been unfair for the organization, the Knicks, to have to deal with that. It would have been too much noise, too many questions to answer and I don’t think either party wanted to deal with that.”
One thing that changed is that Phil Jackson was out in New York and the new team of Steve Mills and Scott Perry was not going to take back a crappy deal just to get it done. The Knicks wanted some assets back, and the Rockets were not flush with them. Then there was the issue with Ryan Anderson‘s contract, which had three-years and $60 million on it — the Knicks didn’t want it, and the price from third teams looking to get in the deal was too steep (I was told teams were asking for two first round picks, and not ones deep in the draft).
Anthony instead joins a Thunder team going all in on this season, one that should be interesting to watch. But there will always be a little “what might have been” in Houston.
You can listen to the clip of Anthony talking about the trade below, or follow this link to hear him discuss the new energy he has in OKC.