EXCLUSIVE: Yanks for the memories, London… now I can't wait to get back, says Knicks superstar Anthony
13:23 GMT, 26 November 2012
It was the scene of his greatest triumph to date and, naturally, Carmelo Anthony can't wait to get back to London in the New Year.
The 28-year-old was one of the star members in the USA's all-conquering Dream Team alongside the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, winning gold in the men's basketball at the 2012 Olympics.
With the regular NBA season back in full flow the New York Knicks forward has continued to shine, scoring over 20 points in 11 of the 12 games he has played in since the new 82-game campaign began at the beginning of the month.
On the ball: Anthony can't wait to get back to London in the New Year
While the Knicks have famously not won a world championship since 1973, coach Mike Woodson's Anthony-inspired side are currently enjoying the franchise's best ever start to a season with nine wins and three defeats.
Indeed, there's no doubt in the mind of veteran team-mate Marcus Camby that Anthony's achievements earlier this summer have acted as the catalyst to the Knicks' stunning start so far, which has suddenly offered the usually pessimistic natives a newfound cause for optimism.
'I think that whole Olympics experience has elevated his game,' said Camby. 'Melo came back with a lot more confidence and as you have seen this year, he is playing lights out basketball for us.'
Flying high: The Knicks star scored 29 points in his side's win over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday
Tyson Chandler, another stand-out Knicks performer and who was also part of the USA's gold medal-winning team, is in agreement with Camby and added: 'He [Anthony] has been so consistent throughout the year of getting us going early. His being physical gets us into the bonus, which really help out.'
And after almost single-handedly crushing the Detroit Pistons in front of a sold-out Madison Square Garden on Sunday (scoring 29 points in the 121-100 victory), there's little wonder why Anthony is so enthused about the thought of returning to the capital on January 17 when the Knicks next meet the Pistons at the O2 Arena.
'Man that's far,' joked Anthony, who was speaking to Sportsmail in New York. 'But I can't wait to get back over there in London.'
On target: Anthony celebrates with team-mate J.R. Smith during their game against the Detroit Pistons
A smile as big as the Brooklyn Bridge covers the easy-going superstar's face and his eyes illuminate like the bright lights on Times Square as he reflects on his 'unforgettable' experience at the Games.
'It was probably one of the best experiences I've ever had just being over there, being in London [at the Olympics], both on the court and off the court,' he said.
'You know, I've got some good stories of my time at the Olympics Village but I'll keep most of those to myself. I'll keep them locked up in my vault!
'The Village was great and we hung out with whoever was there to be honest. For most of the time, there were a lot of other matches going on so we would just be there, eat at the cafeteria and hang out.
'We also had the chance to go and eat at some other spots and do some sightseeing. You know, it was great. We went to see the [London] Eye, man. And we went to the [Buckingham] Palace.
'You know, over in the UK there's definitely a lot of fashion with the clothes and, of course, there's a lot of history too when it comes to the buildings and all that.
'The fans were great to us too. They were very knowledgable of the game and basketball is definitely growing over there in London.
'The whole thing really was just one of a kind.'
With Anthony at the peak of his powers, London will undoubtedly welcome him back with open arms.
The Detroit Piston take on the New York Knicks on January 17 at NBA London Live at the O2 Arena. Watch every NBA game live or on demand via NBA LEAGUE PASS at: www.nba.com/leaguepass