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Anthony met with Chicago, Houston, Dallas and the Lakers after terminating the final year of his contract and becoming a free agent July 1. A few of those teams seem much closer to contending than the Knicks, but none could offer anywhere near the salary under NBA rules, which allow players to sign five-year deals with their current teams but only for four years with another.

“I am looking forward to continue my career in Orange & Blue and to work with Phil Jackson, a champion who builds championship teams,” Anthony wrote.

Jackson and the Knicks made it clear how much they wanted to keep the 2012-13 NBA scoring champion, telling him in a July 3 meeting in Los Angeles that they were willing to pay him the maximum allowable salary.

“There never was any tension in our conversations,” Jackson said. “I think it really went very well for us. All the conversations were relaxed, they were comfortable. You had the feeling that he really wanted to listen to what was offered and he really wanted us to hear him and we did.”

Anthony took another 10 days to announce his decision, though apparently the Knicks were his preference all along.

“I will always remember this chapter in my life,” he wrote. “In the end, I am a New York Knick at heart.”