Carmelo Anthony said Tuesday he believes the Knicks are a better team than they were last season and called the Nets rivalry now the best in the NBA.

Anthony a guest speaker at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit in Midtown also indicated he would have even more of a scoring mentality than he did last season when he won the scoring title. Anthony also cracked up the audience by joking about rumors he would sign with the Lakers as a free agent.

“We were the top two seed last year’’ Anthony said. “I think nobody expected that. This year we expect to do the same thing. I actually see this team be better than last year’s team. I won’t get into all the details [why]. But we feel that. We feel we have improved as a unit.”

The Knicks went 54-28 winning the Atlantic Division but petered out in the second round losing in six games to the Pacers. The Knicks drafted Tim Hardaway Jr. and added Metta World Peace Andrea Bargnani and point guard Beno Udrih. Their losses were Jason Kidd Steve Novak and Marcus Camby all three of whom barely played in the playoffs. Still some are predicting the Knicks to drop to fifth in the East.

The restocked Nets with Kidd as their coach are getting all the hype and Anthony a Brooklyn native is savoring it.

“I love it” Anthony said. “I think it’s a great for sports. I think it’s great for us as a Knicks organization. To have somebody we can compete with on a consistent basis four times a year I think it’s going to be the best rivalry in basketball for a long long time.’’

That Anthony who can opt out of his contract after this season was talking in the long term appeared a good sign for Knicks fans though the Lakers surely will try to woo Anthony next summer with their cap space.

Anthony was on the panel to talk about building a “billion-dollar brand’’ and spent time promoting his companies such as PowerCoco — a coconut water sports drink. The panel’s interviewer Matt Miller of Bloomberg TV teased Anthony that Los Angeles was a good place for coconut-water drinkers and the Lakers were “a strong brand.’’

Anthony shot back “I would love to sign the Lakers up to be one of the sole teams in the West that drinks PowerCoco.’’