Spike Lee Wants Carmelo Anthony in New York

source: http://nba.fanhouse.com

NEW YORK -- When Spike Lee chose his wardrobe for Sunday's exhibition game at Madison Square Garden between Team USA and France, there was nothing random about it.

Lee selected a Team USA No. 15. jersey. That's the number Carmelo Anthony donned in helping the Americans to a 2008 Olympic gold medal and the one he wears for the Denver Nuggets.

"It wasn't haphazard," the filmmaker and No. 1 Knicks fan said in an interview with FanHouse about picking a jersey to show how much he wants Anthony to sign with New York, if he opts out of his contract and becomes a free agent next summer.

The Knicks lost out on LeBron James, the top free agent this summer who went to Miami, and settled for signing Amar'e Stoudemire. Lee is now hoping they can get Anthony, who could be next season's top free agent.

"Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. Really great," Lee said of what Anthony would mean to the Knicks. "I just hope (they can sign him). I hope so. He'd be a great addition to the team and to the franchise. "

Anthony has until June 30, 2011, to decide whether to opt out a contract that would pay him $18.5 million in 2011-12 or become a free agent. He also has until then to sign a $64.7 million contract extension offer that is on the table and would take him through 2014-15.

Speaking to reporters Saturday at his annual basketball camp in the Denver area, Anthony did not offer a lot of clues about his plans. Lee figures to try to influence him if Anthony hasn't made a decision by Dec. 12, Denver's one regular-season appearance next season in New York.

"I know him," Lee said of Anthony, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., where Lee grew up. "We're not tight, tight. Brooklyn guys, we stick together."

As for James, Lee didn't have too much to say about him.

"We're over LeBron," Lee said. "He had to do what he had to do."

Now Anthony will do what he feels he has to do. But, even if he chooses New York, Lee won't be able to wear a No. 15 Anthony-Knicks jersey to Madison Square Garden. The team has retired that number in honor of Dick McGuire and Earl Monroe.

Chris Tomasson can be reached at tomasson@fanhouse.com or on Twitter@christomasson

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