Knicks legend Bernard King got off a plane in Houston late Friday night with a phone filled with text messages.
“Are you watching the game?”
“Are you seeing this?”
He wasn't, but King soon found out that his Knicks single-game scoring record was broken. And he couldn't have been happier.
“I am delighted for Carmelo, I’m happy as can be,” King said Saturday in an interview on ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s “The Alan Hahn Show.” “All records are meant to be broken. I’m delighted that it was Carmelo. He’s a Knick through and through. It should be held by a Knick player.”
Anthony set the franchise single-game scoring record and the Madison Square Garden single-game mark Friday night when he hung 62 points on the Charlotte Bobcats.
The previous franchise mark was held by King, who scored 60 points against the Nets on Christmas Day, 1984.
King and Anthony have a special bond.
Anthony has frequently cited the Hall of Fame forward as one of his favorite players, one of the scorers he tried to emulate growing up. The two have grown close since Anthony came to New York in a blockbuster 2011 trade.
Anthony referenced his relationship with King on Friday night when he talked about the “special” nature of breaking his idol’s record.
“Definitely a special moment, man,” he said.
Anthony and King are among a handful of humans who know what it’s like to be in the kind of “zone” Melo found himself in Friday.
King explained the experience to Hahn: “People cannot understand unless they experience it firsthand, really what that’s like. You’re connected to the ball, you’re connected to the flow of the game. You’re connected to the seams in the defense. You’re connected to the defensive schemes that the opposing team is running to defend you. You’re connected to your teammates and where they’re going to be on the floor. Everything comes together completely at that moment. When you’re in a basketball zone there is no way an opposing team, defensively, is going to stop as great a player as Carmelo Anthony.”
The Bobcats found that out the hard way as Anthony torched them for 37 points in the first half and 56 through three quarters. He finished with 62 on 23-for-35 shooting and pulled down 13 rebounds.
Afterward, King texted him, “You were in a basketball zone tonight.”
But how many more nights does Anthony have at the Garden?
He will test free agency over the summer. King doesn't have any insight into Anthony’s decision, but believes the star forward will re-sign with the Knicks.
“There’s no greater organization, there’s no greater city to play in than New York,” King told Hahn. “I think that if you look at Melo and his time here in New York, he has relished that. And I really don’t see Melo leaving New York. This is from my perspective. Where else is he going to go? The fans love him here. And certainly, the performance last night is one for the ages, it’s historic.”
Spoken like a guy who’s had a few of them himself.
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