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Marcus Camby's homecoming party (Nuggets/Clippers Preview 7pm MST)...

The big story going into tonight's Nuggets/Clippers game is the homecoming of former Nuggets center Marcus Camby. While playing with the Nuggets, Camby got mixed reviews by the readers of this blog. It seems like half the readers loved him whereas the other half thought he was a faux-defender. The argument against Camby was basically: yes, he blocks shots, but that's because the Nuggets play so many possessions and he never actually stops anyone. From Denver Stiffs point of view, the truth about Camby probably lies somewhere in the middle.

When healthy, Camby was one of my favorite Nuggets and I believed that on a team littered with me-first offensive players, Camby was exactly what the Nuggets needed at center. Like you, I cringed every time he shot that awkward jumper from the top of the key or did one of his patented scoop layups on the fast break that never seemed to go in, but there were plenty of games where Camby completely owned the energy of the game with his rebounding, blocked shots and ability to take charges. He was kind of like a more disciplined Chris Andersen without the dunking ability. And I still believe that a healthy front line of Camby, Nene and Carmelo Anthony would be the NBA's best.

But it was just never meant to be.

Unfortunately for Camby and his supporters, last summer the Kroenke Cronies realized that whether the Nuggets spend $80 or $70 million on salaries, the team is probably losing in the first round either way. So Camby's not-too-high contract was trade bait to get the Nuggets under the luxury tax threshold. I still maintain that trading Camby wasn't the worst idea, but the fact that the Nuggets got nothing back for him (i.e. a future first round draft pick) was lazy "GM'ing" at best.

With 16 games remaining in the regular season, the Nuggets find themselves in a similar position to last season in that they're battling for anywhere between third and eighth in the Western Conference standings. Luckily for the Nuggets, their schedule is padded with easy opponents, like Camby's Clippers who are a world away from the Nuggets situation.

I know he makes more money than I ever will and understand the business of basketball, but I feel bad for Camby. He gave the Nuggets everything he had to give and the least they could have done was trade him to a contender. I can name about 10 contending playoff teams that would be thrilled to have Camby on their roster right now. If you want to know what Camby's situation is like in Los Angeles, I encourage you to read ESPN's Bill Simmons' recap of their Tuesday night game against LeBron James and the Cavaliers. Read about Camby at the 1:28 mark in the article towards the bottom.

I'm looking forward to the Pepsi Center fans giving Camby the warm, enthusiastic standing ovation he deserves.