Carmelo Anthony is adamantly insisting that he'll be a Nugget through the Pacers game next Sunday night (and possibly beyond). That's until he sits down with New Jersey Nets Russian billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov and minority owner Jay-Z, of course.
As if the Melodrama wasn't a hot-enough topic, now comes news that Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z will be meeting with Carmelo Anthony "at an undisclosed location," presumably in Denver since the Nuggets play the Oklahoma City Thunder here on Wednesday. There has been no confirmation yet if Dick Cheney will be joining them (the political junkies should get that one).
So I hope everyone in the Denver media from Chris Tomasson to Benjamin Hochman to Chris Dempsey to Penny Parker will be keeping an eye out for a 6'8" Russian with one of the world's great rap performers by his side.
If I were Prokhorov, I wouldn't just sell Melo on the opportunity to be the King of Brooklyn - which is just minutes away from the heart of Manhattan - but I'd explain to Melo (a Brooklyn native, no less) that he has the opportunity to be the King of Russia, too. With Prokhorov in his corner, Melo could become a global superstar. Don't believe me? If you don't know Prokhorov, just watch this (I've embedded the video below, too). Melo may proclaim to not want to be a Net, but I wish him good luck in saying "nyet" to a 6'8" Russian billionaire who knows how to wield an AK-47 and has the hottest women in the world on his speed dial. Should Melo become a Net and a member of Prokhorov's entourage, he'll soon regret those marriage vows exchanged last summer.
Prior to the news breaking on Sunday evening that the Nuggets have granted the Nets permission to meet with their wishy washy superstar, Melo himself had finally spoken publicly about playing in the New York market, playing in Brooklyn specifically, meeting Prokhorov and the Nuggets questionable future, with or without him. For once, we didn't have to read between the lines with Melo, who until Sunday night was saying loud and clear that he questions if he'll ever win a championship in Denver and wants to play closer to where he grew up for the remainder of his career.
So now that the "let's ride out the season and see how it goes" boat has sailed (it sailed months ago, it just took a long time for most Nuggets fans to realize it), I for one am looking forward to this gigantic go or no-go moment in Denver Nuggets history. Any day now, Melo will be forced to decide: Nuggets, Nets or Knicks.
And while it upsets me to no end that Denver native/legend Chauncey Billups has to be included in this proposed Melo deal to New Jersey, don't be duped into feeling too bad for Chauncey. While there's no doubt that Chauncey wants to be in Denver, he no doubt wants that $14 million owed to him next year more (and why wouldn't he?). By being shipped to New Jersey alongside Melo, Chauncey now has the opportunity to get paid a handsome sum when he's a 35-year-old point guard.
Figuring that Prokhorov and Jay-Z will likely persuade Melo to play in Newark for the remainder of the 2010-11 season, I'm already imagining a starting five here in Denver featuring Devin Harris at point guard, Arron Afflalo at shooting guard, Nene at center, Kenyon Martin at power forward and J.R. Smith at small forward backed up by Ty Lawson, Al Harrington, Derrick Favors and Anthony Morrow. It may be 60 cents on the dollar, but that team can make the playoffs in the Western Conference...especially with the head start the Nuggets already have.
I don't know about you, my fellow Stiffs, but after watching a distracted Nuggets team and a very distracted Carmelo Anthony implode in San Antonio, I'm ready for this season-long drama to come to an end already. In fact, the sooner the better.
New Jersey Nets expect to meet with Carmelo Anthony this week, sources say - ESPN New York
Nets officials expect to have the opportunity Tuesday or Wednesday to make a face-to-face pitch to Carmelo Anthony about signing the contract extension with the Nets, according to sources.Nuggets Grant Nets Permission to Speak With Carmelo Anthony -- NBA FanHouse
Nuggets Grant Nets Permission to Speak With Carmelo Anthony -- NBA FanHouse
Chris Tomasson piggybacks off the ESPN report and reports that Nets head coach Avery Johnson expects to have his regular lineup in-tact all week. Sucks for Avery.
Carmelo Anthony baffled by talk about Nets - The Denver Post
Chris Dempsey caught up with Melo in San Antonio and in speaking with Dempsey, Melo guaranteed that he'd be in Denver all week.
Why Carmelo Anthony Is the Ultimate Team Player (and What 'Advanced' Stats Miss About Him) - NYTimes.com
A fascinating article by the New York Times' Nate Silver. Silver debunks many of the arguments by the so-called stats experts pointing out Melo's inefficiencies as a player. The bottom line, notes Silver, is that Melo's teammates have all improved while playing with him and the Nuggets have won an average of 48 games per season on Melo's watch in the highly competitive Western Conference.
Carmelo Anthony Vows to Be With Nuggets Wednesday -- NBA FanHouse
Tomasson continues his doggedly great work by getting a one-on-one interview with Melo outside the Nuggets locker room late Saturday night. To me, this quote from Melo says it all about why Melo won't be a Nugget much longer:
"It's just uncertainty in the future of the organization,'' Anthony said of Denver. "There are a lot of things that come into play, contracts, not knowing what's going to happen in the future, the next two or three years. I'm going into my ninth season. I have no time to waste right now. I want to see the light at the end of the tunnel with my future, and that light is the championship.''
Carmelo Anthony's tenure with Nuggets might be at an end - The Denver Post
Benjamin Hochman gets Melo on the record about his recent comments to ESPN's Colleen Dominguez about playing in New York being "the ultimate dream." Hochman also notes that Melo jerseys are now 50% off at Pepsi Center.
"I said that it's anybody's ultimate dream to go back home and play," explained Anthony, who lived in New York until he was 9, then moved to Baltimore. "If anybody told you they didn't want to do that, they'd be lying to you. That's somebody's ultimate dream. Chauncey, his ultimate dream was to come back here and play in Denver."
Karl's season-long battle a tough test - The Denver Post
Hochman also catches up with Nuggets head coach George Karl who has had the privilege of dealing with the Melodrama while bravely recovering from throat and neck cancer.
Carmelo, LeBron rivalry could finally take hold with trade - Ian Thomsen - SI.com
It was seven seasons ago that rookies Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James were cast as rivals. Now Anthony may make that rivalry come true.
Sources: New York Knicks will soon trade Anhony Randolph for draft pick - ESPN New York
Looks like the Knicks are realizing that they need Melo, after all, but might have taken too long to get into the trade-for-Melo game.
Carmelo Anthony says playing back home in New York would be 'ultimate dream' - ESPN New York
Carmelo Anthony's ultimate dream would be to play in New York, the Denver Nuggets forward said Friday in an interview with ESPN's Colleen Dominguez.
From the Archives...
Mikhail Prokhorov appeared on CBS' 60 Minutes last March. For me, it was love at first sight. I wish I could see this guy in the NBA owners meeting alongside Mark Cuban, Stan Kroenke, Donald Sterling and Larry Miller's widow...
And since our days of funny Melo-related videos are coming to an end, here is a promotional video sent to us from the folks at English, Baby!