GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- A week from now, Carmelo Anthony will be New York's All-Star ambassador as the NBA's best visit his stomping grounds.
And for once, the New York Knicks star is looking forward to being in the position of asking some of his fellow All-Stars about their futures instead of being the one fielding all the questions about what he's going to do and where he will be playing. At last year's All-Star Game, Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah approached Anthony about the possibility of signing with the Bulls in free agency, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard.
"That was kind of the talk of All-Star weekend last year," Anthony said when asked if players were asking him what he was going to do at last year's All-Star Game with his free agency coming up. "I've had that experience maybe twice now, last year and then the [All-Star game] in L.A. a couple of years back right before I got [traded] to New York.
"Now it's my turn!" Anthony playfully said with a smile. "Now it's my turn to extend the favor."
With the NBA's biggest stars spending a weekend in the city, the Knicks are certainly hoping New York will make an impression on some of the stars who will become free agents in the near future. Team president Phil Jackson has cleared cap space to go after free agents this summer and could have $30 million to play with this summer along with a high lottery pick to use.
Anthony -- who went through his own recruiting tour last summer before re-signing with the Knicks for a five-year, $124 million deal -- is hoping that Madison Square Garden will impress the players when the lights come on for the league's showcase game.
"I think everybody will be on their own kind of zone on All-Star weekend," Anthony said about whether a weekend in New York City can become a recruiting tool. "The real effect that they will feel will be during the game here at the Garden, kind of seeing what the Garden has to offer, not just for New York Knicks but for [big events overall].
"And that is a big moment -- that Sunday in the All-Star Game," Anthony continued. "So the Garden will be lit up, it will be bright. There will be a lot of people in there. It will be loud and it will be exciting. So for other players to see that, I am pretty sure that will be impressive."
Anthony is looking forward to playing the role of New York's All-Star host.
"I think it will create some great momentum here in the city just by having All-Star weekend in New York," Anthony said. "The energy that will be surrounding the city kind of starting on Monday all through the week. ... And just for me to kind of be that ambassador for the city for the weekend, that means a lot that I can represent New York here in my hometown. Kind of welcome everybody here to have a good time for the weekend."
And if New York ends up impressing players whose contracts are up this summer or next, all the better for Anthony and the Knicks.
"For the most part, I think guys pretty much know New York [City]. ... It is just a matter of kind of knowing and learning the Knicks organization," Anthony said.