Melo: Felton has 'point' to prove in NY

August, 24, 2012
8/24/12
3:31
PM ET
Carmelo Anthony has been playing against Raymond Felton for most of his life.

Anthony and Felton first faced off nearly 20 years ago, when both players were nine years old and on opposing AAU teams.

Anthony said Felton played with "a chip on his shoulder" back then -- and still does to this day.

[+] EnlargeRaymond Felton and Carmelo Anthony
Djamilla Rosa Cochran/WireImageRaymond Felton and Carmelo Anthony in 2005.
"He wants to prove everybody wrong," Anthony said. "He loves to win.”

That competitive fire is one of several reasons Anthony's happy to have Felton back with the Knicks.

"When (Felton) was here in New York, they were rolling. He was having an All-Star year when he was here. So, to bring him back (to New York is) an extra incentive for him," Anthony said Friday at his ProCamps youth camp at St. John's University.

The Knicks obtained Felton in a sign-and-trade in July instead of matching Houston's three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet to Jeremy Lin. Felton will be in his second stint with the Kicks. He was with New York for 54 games in 2010-11 before being shipped to Denver in the three-team deal that brought Anthony to New York.

"This is a special year for him mentally," Anthony said. "For him being traded from here, (he has) the chance to come back and prove to people what his game is about."

Based on last season, critics say Felton has plenty to prove. The 28-year-old reportedly struggled with his weight throughout an underwhelming 2011-12 campaign in Portland. He averaged 11.5 points and 6.5 assists, and shot 41 percent from the field for the Trail Blazers.

The Knicks hope that Felton, a seven-year veteran, can regain the form he showed in his first stint in New York, when he averaged 17 points per game and nine assists per game.

For what it's worth, Anthony seems pretty confident that Felton will be motivated by his return to the Big Apple.

"He has a chip on his shoulder. I've been playing against Raymond since I was nine years old in AAU basketball, so he's been the same since then. He wants to prove everybody wrong," Anthony said. "He loves to win."

ANTHONY INTRIGUED BY AMARE'S POST GAME: Anthony hasn't seen much footage of Amare Stoudemire's work with Hakeem Olajuwon in Houston, but he seems to be intrigued about Amare's potential in the post.

"He looks good," Anthony said. "For him to take that step and say at least he wanted to try it, a lot of people wouldn't have taken that step."

Anthony noted the possibility of he and Stoudemire playing off of one another, with Anthony on the wing when Stoudemire is in the post.

"I'm waiting to see what he's added to his arsenal," he said. "I'm excited for the fact that he went down there and started working with the Dream, so that's a big step forward."

ANTHONY IS HEALTHY: Anthony reportedly tweaked his hamstring during the Olympics. The injury was enough of a concern that the Knicks sent a trainer to London to keep an eye on it.

Anthony said on Friday that he is 100 percent healthy.

"I just had a day where it was sore. That's it," he said. "I'm healthy."

Anthony is scheduled to take a few more days off and then return to training on Monday.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
23.4 3.3 0.8 36.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.4
AssistsJ. Calderon 3.9
StealsP. Prigioni 1.3
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.3