Blog Entry

Melo: I'm not afraid to become a free agent

Posted on: January 31, 2011 11:37 pm
NEWARK, N.J. – On his way in and out of the Prudential Center Monday night, Carmelo Anthony walked past a series of strategically placed renderings of the Nets’ future home in Brooklyn. The imagery only fueled speculation that the Nets aren’t finished pursuing the Nuggets’ three-time All-Star. 

Who knows? Maybe those posters were part of the presentation the Nets never had a chance to make to Anthony, who made his only trip – as a visiting player – to the temporary home that could’ve been his. 

"That was interesting,” Anthony said with a smile after the Nets beat the Nuggets 115-99. “I mean, that was interesting.” 

Anthony’s reaction to the Nets’ Brooklyn mind tricks was about as far as he pushed the story forward when it comes to where he will be finding a long-term home. The closest Anthony came to making news was when he was asked to clarify whether he’s afraid of risking millions by playing out the season in Denver and becoming a free agent under a new collective bargaining agreement. 

“The CBA is in the back of my mind,” Anthony said. “But as far as being afraid to play this out, I’m not. If that’s what it’s going to take, then so be it. I’m with that. I know in the back of my mind what the CBA is up for, what we’re up for dealing with the lockout, things like that. So as long as I know that, my decision will be my decision.” 

Asked if he’d be willing to take the risk of passing on the extension and facing the unknown of post-lockout free agency, Anthony said, “Yeah, I mean whether it’s playing this year out and then going back to the drawing table, sitting down with Denver and trying to figure it out, or whether it’s to move on, I’m with that.” 

So is Nuggets coach George Karl, who said before the game that he continues to believe – as he did in training camp – that the best outcome for all involved is for Anthony to remain in Denver. 

“My job and my thought is that he’s going to be with us,” Karl said. “It is my desire and that would be probably the best thing for us as a basketball team.” 

That outcome, however, is largely in the hands of Denver executives Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke, who were with the team but kept a low profile amid a throng of media here to chronicle Anthony’s visit. Both of them are banking on the qualifier that came next from Anthony, about whether there is a limit to how much money he’s willing to sacrifice to get to the team of his choice. 

“If I sit here and tell you I’m willing to lose $15 or $20 million, then I’d be lying to you,” Anthony said. “But at the same time, this has never been about the money. In my career so far, I think I’ve made enough money. Now I can focus on just trying to win a championship. That’s the only thing that’s on my plate and on my mind right now.” 

Anthony reflected on the news conference held Jan. 19 in which Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov put a very public end to the Nets’ pursuit of Anthony. He reiterated that he would’ve accepted a meeting with the Nets’ brass if Prokhorov hadn’t canceled it, but wouldn’t reveal whether he would’ve agreed to an extension as part of a trade. 

“As far as the extension, if that trade were to go through, who knows what would’ve happened?” Anthony said. “I can’t answer that because it didn’t go through.” 

Nothing has changed for Anthony, who all along has only considered signing a three-year, $65 million extension with the Knicks or Nuggets – though a person familiar with the strategy being employed by his agents at Creative Artists Agency recently told that CAA has been consistent since the summer in advising the Nuggets that he won’t re-sign with them. As for Anthony himself, he refuted a previously published report that Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire had recently texted him urging him to join forces in New York. 

“I read that, that he supposedly texted me or something like that,” Anthony said. “I didn’t get it. I didn’t get that text.” 

Aside from stating his willingness to play this game of chicken with the Nuggets past the Feb. 24 deadline, perhaps Anthony’s most revealing comment was one that won’t get many headlines. The Nuggets’ executives, particularly Ujiri, who were in constant contact with Anthony throughout the protracted trade talks with the Nets, have been quiet lately. 

“I haven’t really talked to those two guys about anything as of late,” Anthony said. “Prokhorov put an end to it. That’s all I can say about it. When something starts going on, I’m pretty sure Masai and Josh will come to me and let me know what’s going on.” 

All that was going on Monday night, as Anthony walked past those Brooklyn posters one more time with his with his manager, Robert “Bay” Frazier, was that he was heading back to Denver with the Nuggets. Whether he’ll be there three more weeks or three more months is the next plot twist. 

“I have to look at it as a business and we just go from there,” Anthony said. “If we make a business decision together, and that’s for me to stay in Denver, or they say the business decision is to trade you somewhere else, then you’ve got to deal with that.”

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2011 11:39 am

Melo: I'm not afraid to become a free agent

But you will blog about it...

Since: Apr 2, 2008
Posted on: February 1, 2011 10:38 am

Melo: I'm not afraid to become a free agent

The NBA is such joke, how in the world can an employee of one team make a season long spectacle of becoming a free agent??? Denver already pays him millions, for that price is it too much to ask he just shut the F up and play basketball? FA will be there after the season is OVER. Right now the only thing this idiot should be thinking about is how to get Denver to playoff and win a championship. This is all off season rhetoric. Fault the league for allowing it to happen. Could you imagine an NFL player talking non stop about his contract and nothing about the games at hand? Horrible, horrendous, ridiculous and one of the many reasons I will NEVER watch an NBA game,let alone attend one or buy a jersey, hat. I would not even have a drink on NBA napkin. FU.

Since: Jul 4, 2010
Posted on: February 1, 2011 10:29 am

Melo: I'm not afraid to become a free agent

If the Knicks get Carmelo Anthony, it could legitimately be said that they are a player or two away from having a contending team.  That's just the bottom line.  As a Knicks fan who actually watched most games this past decade, it would be a thrill to come back to contender status.  Berger and other writers know that the massive New York Media Market will consume these articles, no matter what they say.  But this one is chuck full of new Carmelo quotes.  I'm not as annoyed with this article as most of you.  If anything is redundant, it's Carmelo himself.  After all that's happened, I can't blame the guy for having jumbled thoughts about it all.  He wants Max $ like any good businessman.  He deserves it, but 3 years ago, he made a dumb move on negotiating his last contract to include an opt out clause for this season, instead of last.  So when I procrastinate at work, I gladly eat these up.  Not proud of it, just do.
Despite a saturation of Melodrama, or perhaps because of it, I wish I could be a fly on the wall of these negotiations.  The Knicks are trying to hold onto as many assets as possible, hoping that someone out of the Gallinari/Chandler/Fields/Mozgov/Ra

ndolph/Douglas core of young guys will become those "1 or 2 players away" that I've mentioned.  If you hold onto Gallinari and he continues to develop, maybe you can trade him for that "1 player away" after Carmelo gets here.  And the best case scenario for the Bockers is that they get Carmelo in free agency.  If they convert some of their many Small Forwards to a cap friendly Big and backup Guard, they can continue to develop these young guys for the rest of the year, fully realize what they have in them, sign Carmelo in the offseason, and then trade the young players who don't compliment the Amare/Melo nucleus.  I don't know if that means a sign and trade for a Marc Gasol type or what.  But the Knicks have enough expiring contracts on their books to make room for Carmelo.  So it behooves the Knicks to hold onto as many of their young assets and instead include as much expiring money in this midseason trade, if it came about.  Any chance that they could give up only 1 of the 3 prized young guys (Gallo/Chandler/Fields) would mean a home run for the Knicks.  And with Gallinari's pedigree, I'm hoping it's Chandler that is dealt.  Gallo also gives the Knicks another year of a cap friendly contract which could posture them for a Dwight Howard or Deron Williams or Chris Paul addition.  So a Carmelo addition isn't just important for the 2011 Knicks, it's huge for the 2012 team as well.

Since: Oct 1, 2010
Posted on: February 1, 2011 10:11 am

Melo: Berger is a New Yorker and New York cares

By the way I think melo ate a Hamburger. He don't ride with no cheese, this is why he hates the Nets
Melo played many syracuse games at the Garden and thus is a home town favorite. No on on NYC cares about the Brooklyn Clippers.
They would have to call themselves the Dodgers to have any chance there.

Since: Jun 1, 2010
Posted on: February 1, 2011 10:08 am

Melo: I'm not afraid to become a free agent

Berger writes something on Carmelo that we dont care about everyday.  I bet even after the trade deadline passes he'll still speculate the Nets are gonna get him via trade

Since: Nov 7, 2008
Posted on: February 1, 2011 9:49 am

Melo: I'm not afraid to become a free agent

Anthony just needs to say that the only team he will play for next year (or whenever the CBA gets finished) is the Knicks and get it over with.  Then the Nuggets can get pennies on the dollar from the Knicks or hold on to Melo until the end of the year, get an 8 seed, and get skull f$%#ed by the Spurs or the Lakers in the playoffs.  It seems pretty damn simple and doesn't require a daily blog to keep telling us that nothing has happened.  And when did Anthony become an economic scholar?  If it was a business decision, then you would have been playing against the Nuggets last night.   Instead it is a pouting millionaire fighting it out with thick skulled billionaires. 

I wonder if Berger is trying out to be Anthony's new press man or something.  He sure has spent a lot of time on this story when there are far more interesting things going on ON the court.  The old Spurs playing out of the mind, the Heat and the trials and tribulations, the Cavs losing 20 in a row, the Bulls gelling, etc., are just a few stories he could cover.  But instead, this guy just keeps writing the same damn column about the same damn drama behind the same damn deal that is nowhere near getting finished.  

Since: Oct 28, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2011 8:58 am

Melo: I'm not afraid to become a free agent

If Carmelo keeps this garbage up he's going to have the same profile among fans that LeBron does. How hard is it to just be honest? The guy only wants to play for the Knicks and that's that. All he seems content to do is piss off Nugget fans and look like a jerkwad. Too bad, you think overpaid, egomanical players would've figured it out after James' popularity fell into the toilet this year.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: February 1, 2011 6:25 am

Melo: I'm not afraid to become a free agent

Honestly, do you have anyone else to talk about? Are you that bereft of talent and ideas? If you are, please go away and start your own Melo forever blog. Your articles have gone from annoying to just plain pathetic.

Stop the Melodrama. No more articles on Anthony until he's traded or a decision has been made if Denver is  no longer willing to trade him. No mas.

Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: February 1, 2011 1:34 am

Melo: I'm not afraid to become a free agent

Berger should change his first name from Ken to Geraldo. Al Capone's vaults were more interesting than Berger's  scribblings.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2011 1:27 am

Melo: I'm not afraid to become a free agent


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