Carmelo Anthony wants Denver game

NEW YORK -- The first big night of the NBA season, barring further cancellations, would feature Carmelo Anthony's return to Denver.

The Knicks' All-Star doesn't want to lose that one, but is concerned there may not be basketball at all this season.

"Right now, anybody would be," he said Wednesday. "They cancel the first two weeks of the season, maybe in a couple of days they cancel another two weeks of the season. So I don't know how to feel right now."

But he knows he wants to play in Denver on Nov. 16, just to get the return to his first NBA home out of the way. He knows it could be a "circus," but said: "I can't shy away from that. I've got to deal with it.

The current season opener is Nov. 15, featuring just four games. The next night is a full slate, including Boston at Miami in a playoff rematch. Those could be gone if there is no collective bargaining agreement soon.

"Looks like everything is up in jeopardy," Anthony said.

Anthony also went into further detail about his offseason surgeries during an appearance Wednesday morning on WFAN, saying he had loose chips removed from his left elbow and broken bone fragments taken out from his right knee.

"Something I like to keep off the radar," Anthony said. "I just wanted to go in there and get it done and not have a big movie surrounding that. Eventually it came out. It came out when I was healthy.''

Anthony told the radio station that the Knicks knew about the procedures, which both were done in May.

"I felt [the Knicks] were the only people who should know at that point," said Anthony, who added that he "wasn't feeling right throughout the whole season. I needed surgery for a long time. They didn't know how I was playing with an elbow injury.''

At this point, Anthony says he's "healthy, good and ready to rock."

Besides not being able to play in Denver if the lockout continues, Anthony already stands to lose approximately $1.6 million in salary, with the first two weeks of the season erased.

"It's stressful," Anthony said. "If it's a dollar, if it's 10 dollars, losing money is losing money, regardless of how much you have."

The players and the owners remain at an impasse, and Anthony doesn't expect that to change anytime soon.

"Until both sides sit down and really hash it out and figure out exactly what the problem is, I really truly don't think anything will get done," Anthony said.

Anthony released his Melo M8 on Wednesday, his eighth Jordan sneaker and first since being traded to the Knicks in February. Anthony said the sneaker, with a suggested retail of $135, was his lightest model by far.

The move to New York has given him more opportunities for exposure, part of the reason he was looking to leave Denver. He could have become a free agent this summer and left through that route, but pushed for a trade to get it done during the season so he could get under contract under the old rules.

And though he took some criticism from Knicks fans who would have preferred getting him for nothing instead of a costly trade, he made the correct financial decision given the current lockout.

"I think I did the right thing. For the average person out there who really thought I was just trying to get up and just leave for no reason, that really was a big key in my decision," Anthony said. "I knew free agency was coming, I knew it would be altered, I knew it'd be messed up, so imagine if I'd have stayed. I'd have been a free agent now in limbo. It'd have just been all bad."

But he played well while awaiting the deal and the Nuggets ended up getting great value, acquiring Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton and center Timofey Mozgov and trading Chauncey Billups. So the No. 3 pick in the 2003 draft expects a mostly positive reception whenever he does return.

"I don't think I did anything wrong to the Denver fans. I think I've been loyal to them for 7½ years, so for me to go back -- of course you're going to have some boos and people weeping and whining about it -- but for the most part I can say I did a hell of a job out there in Denver," Anthony said.

"I think it was kind of a win-win situation for both teams."

If he's not on the road with the Knicks next month, Anthony hopes to be playing in an exhibition game in New York. He's played with LeBron James and Chris Paul in the recent star-studded affairs in Philadelphia, Winston-Salem, N.C. and Miami. If so, he hinted at some "surprises" on the court.

"It is New York, the game would have to be that much bigger," he said.

But Anthony would prefer to be back at the Pepsi Center.

Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Mike Mazzeo and The Associated Press was used in this report.