Knicks Moments: Melo Steps Up As Leader on Opening Night

By Ben Horney, Knicks fan since '94

Entering the 2012-13 season, Carmelo Anthony saw his chance to step up and become one of the Knicks' team leaders.

After the Knicks' scheduled season opener in Brooklyn was delayed when Hurricane Sandy tore through the east coast in late October, the Orange and Blue were in the spotlight. In light of the circumstances, the Knicks season would open against the defending champion Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden, on Nov. 2, 2012 -- just days after the storm had finally dissipated, and well before many New York citizens would find either emotional or physical relief.

Just moments before the season's opening tip, Anthony seized the opportunity to lead. Unprepared and unrehearsed, Anthony grabbed a microphone and addressed the home crowd from center court:

"We want to thank everybody that came out tonight and showed some support," he said. "We really appreciate you. We know a lot of lives and a lot of families have been deeply impacted by the tragedy of Hurricane Sandy. We just want to say once again, just thank you for coming out in hard times and supporting our New York Knicks. This is the most important time for the city of New York to come together as one and help rebuild the city back up."

Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images