Carmelo Anthony briefly had what now belongs to Jeremy Lin.
Madison Square Garden shook when he was announced. Fans lined up to buy his jerseys, chanted his name, delighted in having the New York native back in the city.
The happy homecoming hasn't lasted.
The Knicks are a sub.-500 team in the year since Anthony's celebrated trade from Denver, and the New York Post even wrote Tuesday that the Knicks should try to deal him to the Lakers for Pau Gasol.
Still popular, Anthony is no longer beloved. Fans appreciate his talents but question whether they translate to victories, writing on Twitter they feared he'd mess things up once he returned from injury to play with Lin.
Anthony tried to laugh that off, but the truth is he craves the popularity of Lin, an underdog success story whom Anthony compared to Rudy.
"I don't see why fans (would) not like me. I don't say I wouldn't care, I don't care, because I do care if fans like me or not. But at the end of the day I'm here to do one thing and that's to win basketball games," he said last week. "If people don't like it, then they don't like it. I move on, I go on."
The problem for Anthony is he isn't winning enough games.
The Knicks were 14-14 after acquiring him on Feb. 22, 2011, after going 28-26 before his arrival. They are 16-17 this season, but 6-4 without Anthony.
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