Tag:Nuggets
Posted on: June 14, 2011 4:54 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 11:25 am
 

Foreign Loyalties

In 1992, USA basketball created the greatest team ever formed.  The Dream Team captivated the globe when Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and the other enormous stars of the day traveled to Barcelona.  The team was dominant and was the direct cause of the international popularity of the sport.  Just one generation later the US went from being an invincible international basketball force to only winning bronze in the 2004 olympics in Athens.  In just 12 short years the NBA went from having just a handful of foreign born players to having an outburst of foreign talent.

Jumping forward to the Dallas Mavericks' victory over the Miami Heat this week, we saw a team led by a foreign superstar in Dirk Nowitzki claim just the second NBA Finals MVP award for a foreign player; Tony Parker was the first with his NBA Finals MVP award in 2007.  Just like Parker playing every game of his NBA career in San Antonio, Dirk has never played for any other NBA city than Dallas.  As foreign players become the franchise players for various teams accross the league whether it's Dirk in Dallas or Manu and Tony in San Antonio or Yao Ming in Houston, it is immediately apparent that these players go about their business of the court in a completely different manner.  While LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Shaq, Dwight Howard, Deron Williams, Chris Paul and other top level American born stars have complained about in their team situations is recent years, the foreign stars have seemed content to play for the teams that drafted them. 

Sure foreign players become shopped free agents too, as we've seen with Hedo Turkoglu and Manu Ginobili.  Sure foreign players are more prone to flopping around like the soccer players they watched in their home country growing up.  But foreign players have demonstrated a loyalty to their team and city that the whiny American superstars have not.  Even if Dirk never brought the title to Dallas, he would have been so worth having around because he doesn't ever try to hold Mark Cuban hostage.  As such teams building for the future may want to look abroad instead of picking spoiled freshman punks with their lottery picks.  Then again if your organization is a complete laugh like the Timberwolves you might end up with a Ricky Rubio on your hands who defies the general rule of loyal foreigners.

Posted on: January 20, 2011 6:05 pm
 

Shame on the Nuggets Fans

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.

Posted on: December 28, 2010 7:58 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 7:00 pm
 

How to Solve A Problem Like Carmelo

Following my first blog entry regarding the Rockies batting woes in late September, I had some bad words to say to some trash talking Phillies fans...which led to CBS blocking my blogging for three months.  Well, believe it or not, when I wrote that blog the Rockies were in the playoff hunt, the Broncos were in the playoff hunt, and the Buffs were in the hunt for a bowl game.  Good thing I was blocked because I probably would have had a bunch of bad words to say about a Broncos team with a now fired coach, a CU team now captainless, and a Rockies team that...well I am pretty pleased with locking up Troy Tulowitzki and Jorge De LaRosa.

With football season dead and gone, and professional soccer no longer masquerading as a Mile High interest now that the Rapids Championship talk has died down, the Nuggets get center stage over a good young Avs team.  Melo is here for now and the Nuggets are hugely underrated.  They have three home losses on the year including what should have been a win over the Spurs.  But for another infamous Manu Ginobili flop, the Nuggets would have wins this year over the Mavs, the Lakers, the Magic and the Spurs.  Even as is, they have an elite resume for a team that has been far from healthy with Kenyon Martin, Birdman, Carmelo and Chauncey all missing time. 

If the Nuggets can string together another strong winning streak before the All-Star break, the Nuggets should certainly consider holding onto Carmelo and taking his talents into the playoffs for one more shot with the current Nuggets team.  With as tough as the Nuggets are at home they would be a difficult draw for almost any team.  What are the alternatives?  Melo, allegedly, would be willing to go to the Knicks right now and sign an extension, but the Knicks don't have the lucrative prospects and draft picks the Nuggets deserve.  The Nets have assets worthy of making the Nuggets abandon the current season and send Melo to the Nets for the reverse of the Kenyon Martin deal that has haunted the Nuggets for so many years now, but Melo has said he doesn't want to sign the extension for a team without talent to win right now.  Why would Carmelo want to transport himself back to 2004 when he needed to drag the Nuggets into the playoffs on his back?  Then there are the contenders who are looking for the knockout punch by picking up Melo.  The Magic and Mavs would love to have him, but how much would they realistically send back to Denver?  Any way you look at it, Melo is hard to move, so do the easy and obvious thing and keep him in Denver.  Sell as many seats as possible the rest of the year.  Hope for another good playoff run like the 2009 campaign.  However this ends up, it's not a Mutumbo situation no matter what anyone says.  Bernie Bickerstaff let a franchise building player go who would have had no problem staying in Denver.  Melo apparently does have a big problem with staying in Denver but is playing hard for this team, so take the effort while he's here and then move on.

Category: NBA
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com