Carmelo Anthony is apparently not joking around about his desire to begin the season somewhere other than Denver, according to Ric Bucher of ESPN. The report by Bucher on ESPN radio said that "Carmelo see's a team stuck financially and is not going to improve anytime soon."
The possibilities for Carmelo's relocation are primarily the Knicks, the Rockets, and as of yesterday the Clippers. All would be interesting but with the rosters they have right now, I don't see any of them as much of an improvement from the Nuggets. The chances of him going to New York have been overstated but there is still a chance that could happen when his contract runs out.
Carmelo has refused to sign the offered three-year extension for almost two months now. If he were to start the season for a new team it would be through a sign and trade from the Nuggets.
Regardless of where he ends up, this story has bigger implications in the NBA. It is yet another example of an unsatisfied player that demands to be given an easy way out.
Carmelo does not even have the patience to wait a year to get out of Denver, when his contract will expire. Apparently, he believes he is such a star that he must be featured with a contender this year.
What is Carmelo supposed to do? Sit around on a decent team that has some pieces but does not have the talent to be considered among the Lakers, Heat, and other contenders? Put his stats on the sheet, get his money, and wait a year until he can go to a bigger market and join up with Chris Paul and Amare Stoudemire? Watch his buddy's down in South Beach try to topple the single season win record and celebrate their rings with a parade through downtown Miami?
Naw, Melo can't do that. Melo grew up in Baltimore, he doesn't owe anything to the city of Denver or the Nuggets. Why would he stick with them for another year and try to win with these scrubs in Denver? This team isn't up to Carmelo's standards, so why should he have to put in the effort he would for a contender? As a matter of fact why should he have to play on this team at all?
With almost nothing said in the media, this is how I personally read the actions of Carmelo Anthony. I see him as a player with an ego matched only by The King himself. I might be surprised by his selfishness if it were not for the way he plays. He's like one of those guys you always find in pickup games. Sure, he can brag about being the leading scorer but he had to shoot half of his team's shots and pass up the assists to do it.
Don't get me wrong here, I do not hate Carmelo Anthony. He is a good player, he was a great college player. That being said, I completely disagree with what he is trying to right now. I hate what he and the other superstars are doing to the league. I hate the way the league execs handle these players.
Before long we are going to end up with two teams who have all of the best players and they will compete every year for the championship while the rest of the league makes occasional noise in the news by upsetting its players from losing. If this is what I wanted I would just watch the Harlem Globetrotters instead of the NBA.
Unfortunately to the star athletes of today's NBA, the meaning in sports has been lost. It's not about the journey, the perseverance, or overcoming obstacles. The word pride has an alternate definition in their heads, as do many things that their "people" are afraid to tell them they are wrong about.
They get their thrill from looking at a shiny trophy case and a ring on their finger. They believe that this is what brings them respect. As Winston Churchill once said "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
It's not the hardware that you get for winning that matters. It is what you gave to earn it. That is what has floated over LeBron and Carmelo's head like a jump shot from Ray Allen.
But, as much as I have just ripped the modern NBA superstar, it's not their fault. It's the media, the shoe companies, and the college recruiters that have done this to them. It's the people who have just hopped along for the ride and would rather hold on than help put the train on the right tracks.
Think about it, while their high school classmates waited tables or mowed lawns to afford a pair of Nike's, Carmelo and LeBron were not only wearing free sneakers but were the targets of some of the most heated sponsorship battles in sports history. Major shoe companies did everything to make them happy, short of order them hookers and buy them drugs (as far as we know).
It's not their fault they were raised this way but that's no reason to encourage the egocentric behavior. It is reason to take a serious look at the way premiere youth basketball talents are handled. As a whole, the sports culture sometimes forgets that these kids are actual people. They have thoughts and emotions just as we do, and when you feed a certain part of those emotions it creates a reaction.
This is the reaction, to all of the special treatment LeBron, Carmelo, Chris Paul, and many other stars were given in their adolescent years. The adoration at such a young age seems to have done exactly what we feared it would do the entire time, it has messed with the players heads.
Now the reaction is that the NBA has been taken prisoner by ego driven players that believe they are bigger than the league. You know what the worst part is though? The truth is that they may just be right. Carmelo, Kobe, LeBron, etc. they are bigger than the league, because Mr. Stern and company have made them just that.
Just look at the way the NBA advertises itself. There is no secret that the NBA is driven by the image of it's superstars. The commercials you saw leading up to the playoffs this year, they weren't about the Lakers, Cavs, or Celtics. They were about Kobe and LeBron.
Everybody deserves a little blame in this mess. If the players don't owe the team or the fans anything and the fans and teams owe the players nothing then why do we even bother with any of it.
Why do we play the games? Why do we read the stories? Why do we follow the teams and players if we are all just out for ourselves here. I don't cheer for my favorite uniform, I cheer for the team's because of who they represent. I think it's time for both players and owners to remember that there are commitments in this business and the quality of the league depends on them.