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"Classless..."

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So said former Nuggets center Marcus Camby when discussing the way the Nuggets handled "trading" the former Defensive Player of the Year and their starting center for the past five years.

According to Camby, neither head coach George Karl (who apparently didn't know about the trade himself until someone at HoopsWorld told him during a Summer League game) or anyone from the Nuggets front office bothered to pick up the phone and inform him that he'd been shipped to the Clippers for a trade exemption. I always knew Nuggets Vice President of Whatever Mark Warkentien was classless, his own record speaks clearly to this. But if its true that Karl didn't call Camby - and for now we only have Camby's word to go on - that's a stunner. I may have issues with Karl's X's and O's, lack of initiative and myriad of other coaching-related issues, but I've never accused Karl of being classless. I leave those accusations to be made by Ray Allen.

Camby has taken some lumps on this site and elsewhere from the commenters, but as we mourn his departure let me go on record as saying I was a big Camby fan. Yeah, his jump shot sucked, he had no low-post game and he settled for those stupid flip layups when they should have been dunks. But you know what? He gave the Nuggets - like the Knicks during his tenure there - everything he had when healthy. He always took the tough charge, made the extra pass, threw the selfless alley-oop and of course, pulled down an immeasurable number of big rebounds. Frankly, on a team full of "me first" guys, Camby was exactly what the Nuggets needed at center these past few years and if you think the Nuggets would have made five straight postseasons without him, you're deluding yourself.

Under normal circumstances I'd predict Camby will come back and haunt the Nuggets. But with the Clippers being more cursed than we are, don't be surprised if Camby gets hurt and misses 20 games.

Regardless of where you come down on the Camby trade debate, I think we all agree that the man deserved a phone call from the organization. Classless, indeed.