George: Melo 'wants this game' vs. Knicks

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Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports / Action Images

As was the case with Kyrie Irving on Tuesday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Carmelo Anthony won't have to wait long to face his former team in the New York Knicks when the Oklahoma City Thunder open the season Thursday on their home floor.

Paul George knows how badly Anthony wants to bring it to the Knicks, even if his new Thunder teammate won't openly admit it.

"Melo wants this, as he should," George said, according to The New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy. "Melo wants this game and we're going to go out and get it for him."

Having a big performance against the team he spent the past six seasons with - enduring more than his fair share of unpleasantness along the way - would certainly feel good. At the end of the day, though, all Anthony wants to do is leave the past behind and move forward with his new squad.

Related - Melo: 'No support' from Knicks, Phil would've traded me 'for a bag of chips'

"This is an important game for me because it's an opportunity to close that chapter. I don't think that chapter has been closed yet," said Anthony. "I think (Thursday), with me running out on the court in a different uniform, kind of closes that New York chapter for me."

After serving as the Knicks' go-to option on offense, Anthony now transitions to a lesser role behind George and reigning league MVP Russell Westbrook, although it's a role he gladly accepts if the Thunder can benefit from it and win games.

He waived the no-trade clause in his contract to facilitate a move to the Thunder in September, with New York receiving Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second-round draft pick in exchange.