When Jay-Z and Mikhail Prokhorov were rumored to be arranging talks with Carmelo Anthony this week, it seemed a foregone conclusion to many writers around the nation that a deal to send the Nuggets' star to the Nets was all but done. Yesterday when Prokhorov announced that the Nets would no longer pursue "Carmela" it should have been a time of rejoicing for the Nuggets faithful. The Nuggets handled the Thunder last night thanks in large part to another huge performance from Carmelo Anthony. What was the celebration after the game? A chorus of boo's raining down on him during the post game interview. As Melo walked from the court idiot meatheads yelled at him with anger on their faces. The negative treatment towards Carmelo is sheer stupidity.
Let's break this down for all of the idiots in Denver that would cut off their noses to spite their faces. The Nuggets were a bad franchise from the time Dikembe Mutombo left in 1995 all the way until the day Carmelo Anthony arrived in 2003. The Nuggets won 17 games the year before Melo arrived and won 43 with Melo starring as a rookie. Carmelo led the Nuggets to more playoff appearances than LeBron James led the Cavs to, and the Nuggets had to compete in the much more competitive Western Conference of the 2000's.
Carmelo signed a five year contract at the end of the 2006 season with a player option that Melo could choose to excercise at the finish of the current season. What exactly do Nuggets fans feel Melo owes them? It's his player option that he could pick up for next year or he could sign an extension in Denver if he wants to stay. He has not demanded a trade. The Nuggets have looked to get value for Carmelo by trading him in the middle of this season in part because of the massive criticism they fear if they get left "empty handed" like the Cleveland Cavaliers did. If the Cavs had it to do all over again to you really think for a second that they would have traded away LeBron James during the middle of last season? Even as everything played out, the Cavs got to the Conference Semi-Finals and sold a heck of a lot more tickets and merchandise than they would have without LeBron. Nothing they could have traded for would have made them an instant contender again. In fact, the smartest move for Cleveland may be to get the most lottery balls and hope you grab a number one pick in the draft again.
The Nuggets best chance to return to the Conference Finals again is with Melo on the court. The Nuggets have no history of success without a single title ever coming to Denver, so the chance to compete for a championship is a rare and golden opportunity. Keeping Melo is the only option that Nugget fans should want to see. It may only be a relationship that only lasts for another half a season plus playoffs, but it will be worth it. The Nuggets have no obligation to trade their star forward, they are doing this to themselves. This emergency "player-dectomy" is almost certain to kill the team. The Nets were the only team to offer real prospects and not just bad contract salary dumps. The Nuggets will have an automatic salary dump if Carmelo leaves, Kenyon Martin doesn't get picked up, and Chauncey Billups either leaves or re-ups to a smaller deal. That's almost $60 million that would come off of next years books without even considering the new collective bargaining agreement.
Losing Carmelo could set the Nuggets back seven years to the time before Melo, but trading Carmelo Anthony will set the Nuggets back almost as much. The Nets are out. The draft picks and real prospects are gone. The obvious choice is to keep Melo and take your chances with what he will do at the end of the season.
So what's the point? Don't boo Carmelo. He's done nothing but pour his heart out for the Nuggets his entire NBA career. He doesn't deserve it and until he actually moves there is always the possibility he will stay in Denver. If you follow the stories closely you will see that Carmelo has indicated that leaving town isn't a foregone conclusion. I admit that odds are he will land in a Knicks jersey as soon as the impending labor dispute is resolved, but no matter what he decides Melo deserves love and class from the fans of the Mile High City.
I think Denver has a lot smart fans that understand the players and teams that entertain us year round. That being said, there are also a ton of dummies around here. The people who crucified Jay Cutler and got behind Josh McDaniels were complete morons. How is that working out with the Broncos at 4-12, Josh McDaniels working for Kroenke in St. Louis, and Jay Cutler and the Bears a game away from the Super Bowl. You know who you are and I wouldn't be surprised if you are a lot of the same people booing Melo. Class it up people and to all the true fans let's hope that Melo sticks with the Nuggets through the end of this year and that good things happen.