‘Melo: Playing in N.Y. an ‘ultimate dream’

When Carmelo Anthony was asked directly where he wants to play next season, the Nuggets star told ESPN he could not answer, in an interview shown Friday. But then, when discussing New York, the hometown boy got nostalgic.

"That’s like the ultimate dream at the end of the day. Who wouldn’t want to go back home to play?" the New York native asked rhetorically in the interview, according to ESPN.com.

"You ask anybody that question, anybody would say that they would want go back home to play. Whether it happens or not, that’s a different story."

In response to the initial question about his NBA future, the trade target of the Nets — who reportedly prefers the Knicks but remains with the Nuggets — said, "I don’t know. I mean, I can’t really answer that question.

"It’s tough for me to sit here and say, ‘Oh, I want to play in New York,’ or ‘I want to play in New Jersey,’ or ‘I want to stay here in Denver.’ There’s a lot of things that come into play, and I have to weigh all options."

According to the website, Anthony was surprised the Nets emerged as a possible destination.

"I (had) never really thought about the New Jersey Nets," he said, before admitting he has now considered them.

"I see what the future holds; they’ll move into Brooklyn (for the 2012-13 season). . . . Me going back home to Brooklyn, opening that arena, I think about all that stuff."

Referring specifically to Madison Square Garden, Anthony said, "Who wouldn’t love to play in one of the greatest arenas in the world?"

Anthony seemed headed to the Nets, who will spend this season and next in Newark before moving, when a three-team trade also involving the Pistons appeared to be completed last weekend.

It hadn’t been as of Friday evening, with a source telling the Post the deal still could be wrapped up before the Nets’ next home game, on Wednesday.

Anthony has left a three-year, $65 million offer from the Nuggets on the table since June, and the Nets would have to get him to agree to one with them before making any deal.

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