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Carmelo Anthony: Westbrook’s loyalty sold him on Oklahoma City Thunder

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Thunder’s newest player says the league MVP fueled his desire to come to the Sooner State.

On Monday, the Oklahoma City Thunder announced that it had acquired Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks in exchange for Doug McDermott, Enes Kanter and a 2018 second round draft pick.

“We are thrilled to welcome Carmelo to Oklahoma City and the Thunder organization,” said Thunder GM Sam Presti. “In addition to his skill level, experience, and unique talents, Carmelo is another high character, professional player for our roster.”

It’s been a busy off-season for the Thunder with the acquisition of two stars, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.

When asked how he feels about the upcoming season, Russell Westbrook said that he is excited about working with Paul George and  Carmelo Anthony. He says he has always been friends with Anthony, so he is excited for him to be a teammate.

Carmelo Anthony at news conference on Monday.

“Adding someone like Carmelo takes this team to another level. In my eyes, one of the best true scorers and players that this league has ever seen. It’s a luxury to play alongside him,” George said.

George says that he isn’t worried about finding a rhythm with Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, adding that having three effective shooters can take a lot of pressure off of the offense.

“We’re completely different players in my eyes, but we have one common goal and that’s to win,” he said.

During a news conference on Monday afternoon, Anthony said that he thinks the team will ultimately gel, even if there are a few speed bumps along the way.

“I didn’t wanna come here to try and outshine Paul or Russ, and vice versa,” Anthony said. “We’re trying to win basketball games and by any means necessary, we’re gonna do it. I’m gonna bring my skill set here to this team, to this organization and that’s what I’m here for.”

Carmelo Anthony credits Russell Westbrook for his desire to come to Oklahoma City.

"He was a big part, he was big reason why I wanted to come here. To see his loyalty to the city, to this organization, what he was able to do on the court, I wanted to be a part of that," Anthony said. "Adding PG was just another reason why I wanted to come here."

He says none of them have won a championship in their careers, but believe that teaming up might change that.

On Sunday, fans greeted the new Thunder player at Will Rogers World Airport.

When asked about the warm welcome from Oklahoma City fans, Anthony said that he was surprised by the passion of the fans.

"Unbelievable. To go from a situation where it was an emotional roller coaster for me being back in New York. At times, it was very strenuous on myself, on my family," Anthony said. "To come here on the flip side of that and to feel that passion and feel that energy, anytime you feel wanted and appreciated, you can't put those feelings into words."

Carmelo Anthony, a 14-year NBA veteran, currently ranks 25th on the NBA's all-time scoring list and is one of just six players in league history to record 24,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, 2,500 assists, 1,000 steals and 1,000 3-pointers.

Anthony is a 10-time All-Star and a three-time Olympic gold medalist.