An optimistic Carmelo Anthony, who admits he was close to leaving New York, feels the new culture will make the difference for the Knicks this season.

"I don't think we will have another season like we had last year (37-45 record). When I say, 'I believe that we will make the playoffs,' that's where I'm coming from. I think we will have a much better season than we did last year," Anthony said Thursday night at Barclays Center, according to

Anthony was serving as a coach in a celebrity basketball game sponsored by CC Sabathia and Robinson Cano's charities.

"As far as putting a number on the games we want to win, it's hard to say that right now," he said. "But as far as us feeling good about this upcoming season, the way we feel I'm confident in what we're about to create. I believe we will be in the postseason."

Anthony tested free agency over the summer, but he eventually re-signed with the Knicks, agreeing to a five-year, $124 million contract.

Anthony reiterated that he thought about leaving the Knicks.

"It was close. I don't even like to talk about that no more," he said. "This is home. There is no place like New York. Although the other situations were very intriguing, there is no place like New York."

Jim Boeheim, who coached Anthony on Syracuse's national championship-winning 2003 team, said earlier this week that Anthony would have left New York if Phil Jackson hadn't joined the organization as team president.

"I haven't heard that," Anthony said, according to ESPN. "I know (Boeheim) says some crazy stuff. That's my guy. He's been the same way for 40 years. But at the end of the day, man, with what we're trying to create here in New York, it's a new culture and a new identity, and we're trying to create that.

"As far as me staying here, a lot went into that decision. At the end of the day, I did have to believe in Phil, I did have to believe in my teammates. So that's all that matters."