Melo: 'I want to retire in New York'

CHICAGO -- Carmelo Anthony says he wants "to retire in New York" and hopes to recruit players to join him in the Big Apple.

In an interview with TNT before the Bulls' 82-81 win over the Knicks, Anthony said he wants to remain with the New York franchise.

"They pulled all the strings to get me here, and I wanted to be here, you know," Anthony said in the television interview. "And I want to retire in New York, let's be quite frank. I think a lot of people jumped the gun when I said I wanted to be a free agent. And yeah, I want people to come to play in New York. I want them to want to play in New York. I want New York to be that place where guys want to come play in New York."

Anthony earlier said he wants to become a free agent when he can opt out of his contract next summer.

When asked about his comments to TNT after the game -- in which he had 22 points, six rebounds, six assists and six steals -- Anthony politely declined to discuss his future.

"I don't want to talk [about that]," Anthony said. "I said what I said, I believe that. That's my goal, that's what I want to do. I don't want to talk about that. David [Aldridge] asked me a question; I answered. No disrespect to you, I just don't want to talk about that."

Anthony has two years remaining on his contract but can opt out of the last season, worth $23.3 million. The Knicks star can sign a five-year contract worth $129,135,806 if he opts out and stays with New York. If Anthony wants to sign elsewhere, he can sign up to a $95,897,372 deal over four years, according to ESPN salary-cap expert Larry Coon.

ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley contributed to this report.