Why, Carmelo Anthony, of course. (David Zalubowski / AP)

Carmelo Anthony returned to New York to have his right knee examined and drained after leaving in the third quarter of the New York Knicks’ 117-94 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

It was a rotten return to Colorado for Anthony, who was playing in his first game there since being traded in 2011.

Carmelo Anthony does the Charlie Brown walk into the Knicks' locker room. (David Zalubowski / AP) Carmelo Anthony does the Charlie Brown walk into the Knicks’ locker room. (David Zalubowski / AP)

“It started tightening up, started stiffening up,” Anthony said. “Some movements that I couldn’t make, movement laterally, felt like I didn’t have no pop, no power. I tried it in the second half, coming out after halftime. I couldn’t move.”

Anthony may have rushed his recovery. He’d missed three games because of knee pain before playing Monday night.

“I was always concerned,” he said. “I was being naive to myself, saying okay. Trying to psyche myself out, ‘I can do it. I can do it.’ But there comes a point where you’ve got to figure it out and get to the bottom of it and move on.”

Anthony received a mixed reaction from fans and after he left the game, they chanted, “We want Melo,” “Where is Melo?” and “Who needs Melo?” Perhaps, in retrospect, Anthony shouldn’t have been playing.

“He’s out there hobbling in the Golden State game [Monday],” Camby said (via Yahoo). “And tonight he was hobbling up and down the court. Being in this altitude didn’t help either. We only play here once. He got the [return] game over with. When he comes back next season, he can just relax and play the ballgame.”

Tyson Chandler also was hurt in the loss. He banged knees with Corey Brewer and left the game just before halftime with what the team said is a left knee contusion. Injuries aren’t the biggest problem, though.

“We got to check our heart right now,” J.R. Smith said (via the New York Times). “Are we going to come out and compete? Or are we just going to pack it in and go home? It’s just that simple. I think we got to figure it out tomorrow, figure out who’s going to be here and who’s not.”

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