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Tim Hardaway Jr. doesn’t want Carmelo Anthony to leave New York

Tim Hardaway, Jr.

The New York Knicks surprised a lot of people when they signed Tim Hardaway Jr. to a huge contract, including, as it turns out, the man himself. After a couple of disappointing seasons in New York, he never thought he’d be back in the Big Apple.

“You play here for two years and then you’re gone,” Hardaway said Monday afternoon at a Knicks’ basketball camp, via Al Iannazzone of Newsday. “Then two years later you get a phone call and it’s like, ‘Wow!’ I wouldn’t expect it coming from them. I would expect from a different team or a different franchise. When I got the call I was very, very happy and overwhelmed.”

Interestingly, it’s been reported that Hardaway Jr. was brought on board to facilitate trade talks that would potentially send Carmelo Anthony to the Houston Rockets.

Ironically, now that Hardaway Jr. is back in New York, he doesn’t want to see Anthony leave.

“Melo’s got to do what’s best for his family and for him,” Hardaway said. “Yes, we definitely want him back — no question. Just having that veteran leader out there on the floor, a go-to guy who can get you a bucket any given moment of the game, it’s great. It’s great to have that. You want to have that. It’ll be tough for him to leave.”

At this point, it’s probably too late to change things as far as Anthony is concerned. Even with Phil Jackson out of the picture, the Knicks are dealing with uncertainty in the front office, a lack of direction as a whole and a distinct disadvantage in terms of overall talent compared to the top dog in the east, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Anthony, at the tail end of his career, is likely ready to begin anew to pursue the ever-elusive championship dream.