In the most recent "Golden Nuggets" thread I mentioned that there are a few things the Nuggets should consider doing in order to ensure that Carmelo Anthony becomes a Net. This post will basically expand on those suggestions, as well as detail a few more than I may have missed.
You see, in my opinion, someway, somehow, the Denver Nuggets need to trade Melo to the Nets because they have by far the best offer of any team that Melo would even consider (I just said "consider") signing with. Therefor it's crucial that a relationship is sparked so that the Nuggets and Nets become best friends in order to devise a plan to get Melo in a Nets jersey so that we can, in turn, recieve an extremely underrated asset named Derrick Favors as well as an abundance of first round draft picks, which Ujiri clearly staes he feels most comfortable with. Now, if you will, follow me on this quest to the Jersey Shore where through this well laid out plan I'll have Melo pounding Jager Bombs with the Situation in no time.
Mikhail Prokhorov - The 6-foot-8-inch Russian billionaire entrepreneur and majority owner of the Nets couldn't quite make it as a professional basketball player, so instead decided to stake his claim in the precious metals sector of the ol' U.S.S.R. His "net" worth: $13.4 billion. Current beef: Mark Cuban, for most over-the-top, masculine (?) billionaire owner in the NBA.
Avery Johnson - Also known as "The Little General," Johnson led the Dallas Mavericks to the 2006 NBA Finals in addition to four 50-win season in a row. Now head coach of the New Jersey Nets, Johnson hopes to bring one of the more inept teams out of contention for the number one pick in the draft and into contention for the NBA title, but he'll need some help from a certain someone (Carmelo Anthony anyone?) to accomplish this.
Jay-Z - Aka "Jigga Man," aka "H.O.V.A.," aka "Sean Carter," is the partial owner of the Nets and undoubtedly the most successful rapper of all time. Mr. Carter (no, not Lil' Wayne) possess a unique connection with Anthony in that they are both from Brooklyn, love basketball and are heavily influenced by their upbringing of the urban lifestyle on the streets of New York.
For all three of the "players" mentioned above, each possesses a uniquely different idea, or persuasion, they must sell to Carmelo Anthony in order for him to jettison his demands to only sign with the Knicks, and instead agree to go to the Garden State. Below is a list of the points each "player" must hit in their sales-pitch to Anthony on why the Nets are where he needs to be...
- "I'm rich BIATCH!" - Prokhorov has deep of pockets, and I mean deep as in "billions," not "millions," like most other owners in the NBA. Being that he's already openly admitted to wanting to spend anything it takes to win a title, that's really all Melo should need to hear. This is the exact reason Avery Johnson, who had a highly successful stint with the Mavericks committed to signing with the Nets of all places just one year after nearly breaking the mark for the worst single-season record in NBA history. Melo should be made well aware of this. Maybe something along the lines of "Mark Cuban ain't got shit on me," would work? Of course, relaying this idea to Melo over the most expensive bottle of Russian vodka wouldn't hurt either.
- "You're rich BIATCH!" - The importance of Carmelo signing the extension and not missing out on millions cannot be stated enough. We all know that if Melo is dumb enough to test free agency with the uncertainty of the new CBA, that he'll be dumb enough not to listen to any offers from anyone other than the Knicks. Prokhorov, with the help of Masai, needs to make it clear to Melo that by signing the extension with the Nets he's entering a win-win situation; not only is he getting much, much richer, but he's getting the opportunity to play in N.Y. as well - just not with the Knicks.
- "Mr. Net" - Is there anything better than being the franchise player of a New York based NBA team? I don't think so, and neither should Melo. Selling Anthony on the fact that he's got the opportunity to be the first ever franchise player of the Brooklyn Nets needs to be top priority. If I'm Prokhorov I'm saying "The Knicks? They've had their fair share of franchise players and if you go there you risk being lost in the mix, especially with Amare already making his stamp on the team. But with us in Brooklyn, you have the opportunity to make that your franchise, forever." Melo has the opportunity to be looked upon as the original king of his hometown Brooklyn Nets, and that is an opportunity he can't pass up.
- "Out with the old, in with the new" - We all know that Melo's preferred destination is still going to be the Knicks, but newer is better in this day and age, and that must be made clear. Nobody is going to care about the old New York team once the Nets are in town, especially when we're winning more than they are and have a better arena too. Everybody is going to want to go to the Nets games where they haven't been before, not the Knicks games where the old crowd hangs out. Plus the Nets are going to win right away, and will always, I repeat always be better than the Knicks. Melo must know this.
- "Defense wins championships" - Avery Johnson's primary pitch to Melo in the recruitment process should be that defense wins championships and that's what they plan on doing in N.J. Contrary to what Andrew believes, I think Melo wants to hear this. He's not dumb, and though he clearly doesn't like playing defense that doesn't mean he doesn't know that's what it takes in order to win championships. Avery needs to sell Melo on the fact that under D'Antoni he will never win a title, and that if it's his goal to bring one to N.Y. the only way he's going to do it is through "D" in the Big "B" (Brooklyn).
- "Who's made it to an NBA Finals? Oh yeah, NOT D'Antoni" - The next thing Avery Jonson needs to do is let Melo know just how much better of a coach he is than D'Antoni. Last time I checked D'Antoni's teams have never been anything more than a fun-to-watch regular season group who gets smoked come playoff time by more physical, defensive-minded teams. Johnson needs to remind Melo that he's won titles before as a player and knows what it takes to win them as a coach as well, where as D'Antoni does not. I think this is a crucial point in this process. If Melo understands that he really doesn't stand a chance to win a title with D'Antoni's fast-break offense and optional defense, it will probably be hard for him to continue wanting to play for the Knicks if a title is truly his ultimate goal.
- "PG and Center are key" - We all know these are the most important positions in basketball. Avery has to let Melo know (if they still have Harris of course) that with Melo they have three of the most significant pieces to a championship puzzle completed, and through free agency they will be sure to acquire the additional ones needed to compete for the title.
- "Where Brooklyn at?" - Jigga Man is at heart, a business man. This is evident by his invested interest in the New Jersey Nets, as well as record and clothing companies, beer manufacturers, hotels, bars, clubs and virtually anything else one can possibly get their hands on. Chances are, Jay's knows a thing or two about marketing and how to get his way. Selling Melo on the Nets, and the prospect of representing his, as well as Jay's hometown, should be close to number one on the list. It's extremely important for Jay-Z to make this a "We (as in the city of Brooklyn) need you" type of deal. Melo has been more than vocal on how much his hometown of New York has influenced him, and Jay-Z needs to make sure Melo pays it back. He's got to get in Melo's face (not intensely, but firmly) about how the representation of his hometown could mean the world to it's citizens, sort of like how Cleveland had it's own "King" with Lebron. He needs to make Melo understand the unimaginable love and respect he'd receive from the heart of Brooklyn for doing this.
- "We run N.Y." - Similar to the above point, Jay needs to make it known that he's Melo's friend, and that by teaming up with him they could create a New York based empire, similar to the one Jay-Z has created by himself. He's got to stress the importance of business and how with Jay-Z's help, Melo could become one of the most successful businessmen/players the NBA has ever seen. He could do what Lebron couldn't by coming to Brooklyn. Everything from the tabloids, the media, the radio, the nightlife, the television, the clothes, the posters, the music, the lifestyle - he could have it all in the palm of his hand. It's my thinking that if Melo gets a good vibe from the Jigga Man, and understands the magnitude to which his image can be marketed, he might have a real hard time thinking the Knicks are the place for him.
- "Basketball Wives" - It's no secret to anybody following this situation that Lala does have some influence on Melo and his choice of where he'd like to go. Being that Lala has a career in the entertainment business, N.Y. is most likely the best place for her to be at this time. But conveniently for us, someone else very close to this situation also happens to have a career in the entertainment business: Beyonce. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Beyonce probably knows Lala by now, but I'm not really sure how well. Either way, it's important that that relationship finds new life right... about... NOW! And if I'm Jay-Z, I'm making sure Beyonce is letting Lala know just how great it would be if they moved to Brooklyn.
If all goes well, by mid-February (hopefully sooner) Melo will be sporting a New Jersey Nets... um, jersey, and we'll finally be over perhaps the most controversial, and stressful, time in Denver Nuggets history. I know Favors is a gamble, but after extensively reading over one scouting report after another today while I was sick in bed, and how analyst after analyst was drooling over his potential, it's clear to me that his value is at an all time low at this point, and now is the time to capitalize. Because of his age, still underdeveloped body and the fact that he's the youngest player in the entire NBA, he's being overlooked and extremely undervalued, which is why convincing Melo to go to the Nets has to become a full-fledged mission. People forget, this kid was the consensus number one player coming out of high-school and consensus number two player for most of the year coming out of college. If it weren't for Evan Turner having such a great season at Ohio State, this guy would have been the number two pick in the draft, no doubt about it. Bottom line: Favors has the opportunity to be a great defensive-minded, athletic freak of a PF in the NBA, and those are extremely rare last time I checked. With him as a building block, in addition to Ty and Afflalo, this team could be back on track in no time if Ujiri's picks pan out. Now all we need is a little help from the "players" above, a willingness from Ujiri to let go of the past and a New Years resolution that requires us getting some "favors" from the New Jersey Nets.
And now, "Never Change" by Jay-Z, off the critically acclaimed classic album, "The Blueprint" (WARNING: the lyrics can get explicit at times!):