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A Melo-choly Day in Denver

By Dave Bruning

It is a sad day in Denver. For those of us who live here, we know they don’t happen that often. Life in the Rocky Mountains is too damned good. We get an occasional blizzard or hail storm, and thunderstorms are the norm, or at least they used to be.

Carmelo Anthony has enjoyed the Mile High air. His status as an NBA superstar was laid in Denver and he has clearly enjoyed his career in Colorado. The reports of his desire to leave Denver have Nuggets’ fans feeling a bit Melo-choly to say the least.

Denver is a passionate sports town. We don’t lay claim to a bunch of homegrown talent, Chauncey Billups aside. What Denver does superbly is embrace the athletes that grace our city, yet at the same time give them the space to breathe at altitude or sea level. Nobody knows this better than John Elway, and there is no doubt Anthony has enjoyed this as well.

Carmelo has escaped numerous public relations disasters with his Denver reputation intact. Included in his poor decisions is a questionable appearance in a gangster video, being the primary instigator in a brawl with the New York Knicks and refusing to come out of a game when his head coach tried to substitute for him.

It is also relevant to mention Anthony has grown tremendously as a player and a person. He owned up to all of the above mentioned transgressions. His recent marriage also suggests his willingness to settle down. The Nuggets have also enjoyed a high level of success with Anthony as the center piece of their franchise over the last four years. His charitable work off the court is quite impressive and deserves special recognition within the Denver community.

Anthony is currently debating whether to sign a 3-year, $65 million extension from the Nuggets. His decision will define his immediate future and quite likely the extended future of the Nuggets. Re-sign and stay and Denver is a viable contender for the next 4 years. Take his talents to South Beach, or more likely, the Big Apple, and NBA basketball in Denver is at a crossroads.

Let’s try to analyze both sides of his decision.

Stay in Denver:

Melo likes Denver. He wants to win a championship. The migration to Miami by LeBron and Co. caught his attention. The Nuggets need to improve to compete at the highest level. Signing Al Harrington is a nice start, but more work needs to be done. Signing the Nuggets’ extension also guarantees Melo max money under the current bargaining agreement. Anthony risks leaving some serious money on the table if he does not re-sign with Denver.

Leave Denver:

Melo covets New York. He has East Coast basketball in his blood. Anthony grew up in Baltimore and played his only year of college basketball at Syracuse. East Coast basketball is a different breed, and Anthony was bred to play East Coast basketball. Sadly, LeBron James taking his talents to South Beach has made this a disturbing reality for Nuggets’ fans.

Carmelo Anthony has earned the right to play where he would like, just as LeBron James did. I do not want to see Melo leave Denver. If he is going to move on, I hope he handles the process better than LeBron. It already seem he perhaps is doing so by letting the Nuggets know so at least they can explore possible trade opportunities. The irony of ironies would be a trade of Melo for D-Wade. We’ve already seen stranger things happen. My gut instinct is Melo wears #15 for the New York Knicks in the not-too-distant future.

2 comments:

  1. As a Syracuse fan I was thrilled to see Melo come to Denver, and as a Denver fan I am upset to hear of his probable departure. That being said, we can't wait for the inevitable, time to rape a team for player and picks, fair thee well Melo (you turncoat!)

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  2. Melo never won anything without some redhead punk to hit 6 three pointers in a half for him.
    Let's let him go. Plan A should be Brook Lopez. If we got Lopez & Devin Harris for Melo and some other slacker(J.R.) we should celebrate.

    ReplyDelete