Exit Strategy: Breaking Down the Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James Sagas
Over the past year the NBA has seen more drama than your favorite soap opera, Lost, and the time you cheated on your girlfriend with her sister.
The summer of 2010 brought a lot of hype with players such as Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and LeBron James all hitting the free agent market simultaneously. Whether it was planned out ahead of time, or just coincidental, free agency rumors spun like your favorite record, with the results not bringing music to your ears.
Three of the free agents teamed up, one stayed put, and the others jumped ship, but for the purposes of this article, we are only going to get into the most infamous athlete in all of sports, LeBron James.
Love him or hate him, the guy is a one man team, scoring triple doubles in the most inconspicuous ways imaginable. He is already considered one of the best to play the game and hasn't even reached 30. The King was well on his way to NBA immortality before he spoke the seven most random words and put them together to crush the hopes and dreams of millions, "I'm taking my talents to South Beach."
In one of the most selfish and cold-hearted acts any athlete has ever committed, LeBron mislead half a dozen teams and dedicated an hour long program for a five second statement.
All the city tours and statements of not having his mind made up left his home team of Cleveland with nothing but a trade exception that still has not been used, and the inability to go after anyone else because by that time, all other free agents had signed on the dotted line with other franchises.
Which Player Handled Their Exit Better?
Although LeBron has admitted he would have done things differently, you can not change the past, and because of it, his future is forever ruined in many hearts and minds.
With LeBron aside, the question still remains, was Carmelo Anthony's departure more mind-boggling and distasteful than number 6? Did he one-up the King?
Well it depends how you look at it.
From a decision stand point, Melo did everything right. He refused to sign the three-year extension early on in Denver, and came away from numerous meetings with the front office with pen still in hand. The Syracuse alum made it known he wanted to go back East for family purposes, and he shot down trade rumors to all other squads except New Jersey and New York, which has now helped stoke the fire to what will become a heated rivalry, if not on the court then within the front offices. The battle for New York can't come soon enough for James Dolan and Mikhail Prokhorov.
The "Melo antics" that people booed him for was without cause—unless you are a Nuggets fan that is.
There is always two sides of every coin, and this is no different.
Putting the way he handled the Denver front office aside, the Melodrama that ensued this season has definitely given cause for fans—Knicks fans in particular—reason to be upset.
In LeBron's defense, he took less money to play in Miami; Carmelo forced the Knicks to deal now so he could sign his $65 million extension. He forced New York to gut the roster because he wanted something done by the trade deadline, and Dolan was not going to play Russian Roulette with Prokhorov.
Greed has made Carmelo the bad guy in all of this just as much as LeBron, but I'll let you be the judge. Vote on the poll and let the world now who the bigger villain is in your eyes.
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