Stephen Nessen, Reporter, WNYC News
Stephen Nessen reports for the WNYC Newsroom and can often be heard live on Morning Edition.
Call it Melo madness.
The city is abuzz with news that one of the NBA's top scorers, four-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony will make his debut as a New York Knick at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night. The team has not confirmed whether he will take the court.
Tickets for the Wednesday 7:30 p.m. game against the Milwaukee Bucks have gone up 260 percent with the highest ticket price at StubHub going for $855 as of Wednesday afternoon.
Anthony is already getting a hearty New York welcome: the Carnegie Deli has named a gut-busting pastrami monstrosity, The "Melo Sandwich," after his namesake (pastrami, corned beef, salami, bacon, tomato and Russian dressing on rye goes for $21.95 pictured here)
He, along with fellow Nugget Chauncey Billups, were acquired through a trade in which the Knicks parted with four rotation players under 26-years old, $6 million and four draft picks.
Speaking before Wednesday night’s game, Anthony said he recognizes that it takes time to develop team chemistry, and didn’t expect to win a championship overnight, but “at the end of the day we’re moving in the right direction.”
“I’ve felt like I want to be part of an organization, part of a team who has some upside and knew what the future was holding,” he said. “It’s a dream come true and I’m ready to rock.”
There are only 28 games left in the regular season.
Anthony's return to New York is somewhat of a homecoming. The 6-foot-8 small forward was born in Red Hook, Brooklyn, but grew up in Baltimore. Anthony, 26, attended Syracuse University, but left after his freshman year. He led the team to a national championship and was named most valuable player. He was the third draft pick for the Denver Nuggets in 2003.
When asked how he felt sharing the court and limelight with Knick star, Amare Stoudemire, Anthony said, “if anyone of you guys were GMs or owners you’d want me and Amare on the same team as well. I don’t know who would turn that down.”
Melo will be swapping his Nugget's No. 15 for a No. 7 jersey.