Derrick Rose wore number one for eight years with the Chicago Bulls, but he is switching to 25 with the New York Knicks as part of a new start.
During an introductory news conference on Friday, Rose thanked his former team for the trade that sent him to the Big Apple.
"I don't know why I was traded, but I would like to tell them thank you," said Rose, a Chicago native who chose to wear 25 to honour slain Chicago hoops star Benji Wilson.
"For real, [thank Chicago for] getting me another start."
"I'm grateful to be where I'm at. I could have been anywhere," the three-time All-Star and 2011 NBA MVP added.
"Not saying all the other teams are bad places, but to be in this market, to be in the city [with] the legacy, the history of basketball...I'm grateful. I'm grateful to be here. I feel like they're going to appreciate me a little bit more."
Knicks president Phil Jackson said the acquisition of Rose is "reinvigorating" for Carmelo Anthony.
With Rose, Anthony and center Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks have a formidable trio.
The Knicks even added Marshall Plumlee on Friday after the Duke center went undrafted on Thursday.
Rose would also like to be joined by former Bulls team-mate Joakim Noah.
Rose, 27, has been plagued by knee injuries since his MVP season, but he hopes to finish his career in New York.
"I'll guess we'll have to see how this one year goes," Rose said. "But I'm putting my all into this. I'm working my butt off as far as my work ethic, and we'll have to see.
"I just want to win, man. That's the only thing I want to do. I know it's going to be a lot of pressure, people are going to put a lot of pressure on this, but it's like no pressure at all. All we've got do is go out there, play together and win games, one game at a time."
"I feel like something special is going to happen," he added. "I'm putting in all the work. The last time I had this much time to really focus on basketball was the year before I won MVP."