In a move that surprised very few, Carmelo Anthony spurned the Bulls, the Lakers and the Rockets to stay with the New York Knicks. Anthony will sign a 5-year deal worth $122 million, $7 less than the $129 million max.

“I’m willing to ride and die for New York,” Anthony said in a statement on his website.

In less than a few weeks, Knicks President Phil Jackson has managed to create a young, emerging roster around Anthony after shipping off former Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton for a boatload of talent in Dallas. Now all that remains is wondering what the Knicks will be in an even more wide open East, now that LeBron James is back in Cleveland.

Read Melo’s full statement below.

A few years ago I dreamed of coming back to New York City, the place of my birth, and on February 23, 2011 that became a reality. This organization has supported me and in return, I want to stay and build here with this city and my team. At this pivotal juncture in my career, I owed it to myself and my family to explore all of the options available to me. Through it all, my heart never wavered.

During this journey I met with some quality organizations who have amazing talent and leadership. I thank them for their consideration, belief in my talent, and opportunity to imagine the possibilities.

I will always remember this chapter in my life. In the end, I am a New York Knick at heart. I am looking forward to continue my career in Orange & Blue and to work with Phil Jackson, a champion who builds championship teams. Madison Square Garden is the mecca of basketball and I am surrounded by the greatest fans in the world.