DENVER - Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony's open letter he released on the eve of his return from a 15-game suspension:
Dear Nuggets Fans, Teammates, Stan Kroenke & the Nuggets Organization,
The day is finally here. It has been a very long wait for my first game back. Before the game tomorrow, I wanted to take the time to thank all of you for your support of our team and your support of me. I greatly appreciate the e-mails and letters from those of you who wrote to me expressing your support. I also wanted to let you know how excited I am to get back on the court and play with my new and old teammates. I have been going crazy for 36 days waiting to return. All my life playing basketball has come easy to me, but not being able to play has been the most difficult thing I have ever experienced as a player.
I've spent this time off working on my game and reflecting on who I am. And who I want to be. I want all of you to know that I plan to be better, stronger and smarter on the court than I've ever been before. I've never been more dedicated to becoming the best player and teammate that I can be. It has been very tough watching the team play without me, knowing that my mistake has made it very difficult for my teammates, the franchise and the fans. I've spent the time working extremely hard, and I plan to come back better than ever.
I've also spent time thinking about the huge responsibilities I have as the captain of the Denver Nuggets, the captain of Team USA, a face of the NBA, and a role model to young people. I'm aware that a great deal is expected of me, and not just as a player. I'm expected to make the right decisions, lead by example and to be a professional.
Once again THANK YOU for your support. I hope to express my appreciation by continuing to develop as a player and as a person. I can't wait to get out there and show everyone what the Denver Nuggets are capable of. I'll see you at the Pepsi Center on Monday night. I'll be the first one there.