Anthony, who was offered a massive three-year, $65 million extension by the Denver Nuggets some six months ago, has been rumored for months to be leaving the Mile High City for another NBA home.
For months, the number one team rumored to be Melo’s favorite future destination has been the New York Knicks, and predictably, a new source talked of Anthony’s longing to play in the Big Apple.
From ESPN earlier today, “Carmelo Anthony has told the Denver Nuggets he will not sign the nearly $65 million contract extension he has been offered unless he is traded to the New York Knicks, a source told ESPN.com on Sunday.”
But, The Denver Post's Nuggets beat writer Benjamin Hochman tweeted, "Source told me espn piece isn't completely accurate and that melo could sign and get trade to other teams than nyk".
So either way it looks like this is the end of the road for Anthony in Denver.
This isn’t surprising. Everyone in Colorado (and really nationwide) saw that Melo doesn’t want to play in Denver anymore.
And really, Denverites and Coloradans—those that have been strong supporters of local teams for decades before Carmelo was born—have grown tired of this Melodrama that has added to the negative attention put on their beloved franchises.
Simply put, Melo doesn’t want Denver and Denver wants him to get the hell out.
Not to say that the intelligent fanatics that have been watching Carmelo Anthony’s ability on the basketball court grow aren’t thankful for the seven straight years of playoff appearances he’s helped bring the Nuggets to, but Denver doesn’t react well to “stars” holding our teams hostage.
The worst part of this situation is how Melo has handled it all though, in the wake of LeBron James’ decision.
Anthony didn’t want to look like a selfish, self-appointed “King” James, who left all of Cleveland hanging out to dry by making them think they were still in the running for his “Heirness to the throne.”
Melo didn’t want people to backlash against him as they did to LeBron, and call him out for being selfish and for turning his back on the only NBA city he’s ever known.
He didn’t want to look egomaniacal like LeBron and he kept his mouth shut publicly while his agents pushed his real bidding behind the scenes.
Of course, this was an intelligent PR move by Melo’s people, but really, the people of Denver just wanted to know how he felt and what he thought was best for him and his family, instead of being shrouded in doubt for months.
His image is actually being tarnished worse than it would have been if he just came out and told everyone he wanted to leave the Nuggets in the offseason, instead of publicly claiming, “My options are open.”
And on top of that, Melo’s acting as a distraction to the team, missing multiple games due to “flu-like symptoms” and a sore knee and giving half effort on games he is in—people are publicly and privately questioning his desire to win and play well for the Nuggets.
It may seem insane to say, but Denver actually plays better without Carmelo Anthony in the lineup lately.
The Nuggets put up 123 points in Toronto without Melo two nights ago, on 27 assists—it’s evident that when Anthony gets the ball in his hands, Denver’s offense comes to a complete stop because everyone knows he won’t pass it to them.
Melo’s selfish on the court—never making a leap in his rebounding or passing skills—and he’s selfish off the court as well.
Let’s all face it, his heart is in New York, he couldn’t care less about Denver, the Nuggets or their fans.
He wants to play where he wants to play, nowhere else, for no one else.
Another quote shows how much the Knicks fans want Melo too as he explained, “Everybody's yelling out the windows: 'Melo we need you in New York.' Of course, that feels good when you know someone out there wants you to come and represent their team and represent their city. That's what I took from that.”
Denver’s shown him nothing but love until this recent escapade that’s gone on for far too long by both sides involved, but Melo is seeing things through Knicks’ orange colored glasses.
Another quote shows how self-centered Carmelo Anthony is being; when asked if he thought the Nuggets would trade him to a team not on his wish list he answered, “I don’t think so. I don’t think it will happen.”
That’s because Melo understands he holds most of the power because nearly no team will trade for him without him first signing the extension.
Still, there were a few teams rumored to be ready to take him with or without the extension being inked, and the Nuggets are going to have to turn the tables and be selfish on their end now that things are playing out.
Denver cannot just stand pat and hope he signs; he finally made it clear today that he’s not re-signing in the Mile High, so the Nuggets have to use him to get what they need from whoever is offering it.
Denver didn’t trade with New York earlier this season because the Knicks’ squad is devoid of talented chips that would improve the Nuggets, now or in the future.
Wilson Chandler? Danilo Gallinari? The constantly injured Eddy Curry? These aren’t players that are worthy of buying some of Carmelo’s shoes, let alone trying to fill them in Denver.
Plus, the Knicks have no first-round picks, something the Nuggets must get in a package in return from any team they trade with.
Basically, if the Nuggets can find a team that doesn’t care about Melo signing his extension, one that’s willing to take a gamble in order to try to woo the superstar to stay in their town, Denver has to pull the trigger.
Dallas and Golden State were both rumored to be ready to gamble on Melo months ago, would they still be willing now?
Only Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke, the new Nuggets front office that was brought in to appease Melo, knows what teams are willing to risk grabbing the star now only to possibly have him burn them in the future.
And really, anything in return for Anthony is better than watching him walk into the sunset and to New York. But for the Nuggets to settle for garbage players and no picks, things they need to build the future on, would be selling themselves short and selling out their fans.
Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking for a career in journalism. Besides being a Denver Nuggets, NBA and Denver Broncos Featured Columnist, Kurtzman is also the CSU Rams Examiner, Colorado/Utah Regional Correspondent for stadiumjourney.com and a weekly contributor for milehighhoops.com.
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