"It was one part of time where I was just like, 'Yo, I'm going,'" Anthony said in a documentary detailing his free agency that aired Tuesday night on MSG Network.
Anthony ultimately decided to re-sign with the New York Knicks, inking a five-year, $124 million contract. The Bulls could have offered Anthony a contract worth approximately $74 million, unless they executed a sign-and-trade.
In the documentary, titled "Carmelo: Made in New York," Anthony talks in detail about how strongly he considered signing with the Bulls.
"It came down to Chicago and New York. Chicago was the one that, from day one, was something that I was very impressed with. They was looking for a person like me to come in and just take them to the next level," Anthony said. "So it was perfect. It was a perfect setup, perfect fit for me in Chicago. But then also I had to think about just living in Chicago. Do I want to live in Chicago? Do I want to take everything that I created in New York and move all of that? It came down to that."
In the documentary, which features Anthony's agent, Leon Rose, and members of his management team, Bay Frazier and Asani Swann, Anthony discusses how impressed he was with the Bulls organization.
"It was a great meeting. ... You could tell the culture that they have over there. The seriousness that they have, what they're about," said Anthony, whose recruitment included pitches from Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose. "It comes down to winning at the end of the day, and that's what they're about. So that's what I like. For them to hit everything right on the nail, first time at bat, that's hard to do. That was impressive."
Anthony also was impressed by the Lakers, Frazier said, as Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson were involved in the recruiting process. However, the Lakers' poor roster played a factor in Anthony's decision.
"It would have just been me and Kobe on that team, and then you would have had to throw in pieces in there until next year," Anthony said. "So I figured why pick up and leave when New York is in the same situation? I'd have to really want to get out of New York and come to almost the same situation."
In the documentary, Anthony is portrayed as being torn between the Bulls and Knicks. Reports at the time stated that Anthony was strongly considering Chicago prior to making the decision to return to New York.
"He goes to bed one night saying he wants to go to Chicago. He wakes up the next day saying New York. And then he's stuck again," said Frazier, his longtime manager. "That's how he feels. He's so loyal to New York, he wants to stay and become a champion there, which would blow everyone away."
Noah said Wednesday he has moved past the idea of Anthony in a Bulls uniform.
"I'm not worried about Carmelo's documentary," Noah said. "That's the past. I'm a live in the moment kind of guy. I always have been. I'm not worried about [a] Carmelo documentary. ...
"I know you believe [teams] need to have all these superstar players and you have it all figured out. We know what your opinion, what your thoughts are, but maybe the way you view the game and the way I view the game is different. I come in here every day with the guys and my teammates and we work hard and we know we have ways to go. But we feel like the potential is there and that's all you can ask for as a player is just have that belief that you could go all the way. It's a good feeling."
The Knicks have struggled this season, having lost five in a row en route to a 4-15 start. A loss Thursday against the Cavaliers would leave the team with the worst 20-game start in franchise history.
"The games that we're losing, you can't tell me that these teams are that much better than us," Anthony said Tuesday. "I really believe that."
ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell contributed to this report.