The fiasco that has been the "Carmelo Anthony trade rumor machine" over the last couple of months has been an exhausting exercise in egregious exchanges of expiring contracts and ego-filled superstars. (Alliteration 6x) Like most of you, I have grown weary of hearing about trades to New Jersey, New York, Los Angeles, and Timbuktu.
However, over the course of the last couple of weeks, I've come to the realization that I just plain feel bad for the man. He's in a no-win situation, he hasn't played his cards right, and the folks around him do not seem to have his back. Carmelo Anthony is the modern-day version of Bernard King, yet at this point...no one cares. So here are the reasons why I feel bad for Carmelo Anthony.
Reason #1. Because money might bring satisfaction, but not happiness.
Carmelo's trying to get paid, as its time to re-up on his money. The easiest way to do this would be to resign with the Denver Nuggets, sign a max contract, and keep it moving. Of course, realistically why in the hell would Carmelo do something as silly as that? Over the course of the last 8 years the Denver Nuggets have proven that they are not capable of putting together a championship caliber team.
So what are his options? There's the sign-and-trade route. New Jersey put on the full-court press, offering Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, #1 picks, a bag full of $20's, a pack of Kool's, and a large amount of Jasmine incense to get Carmelo. The hold up is when you offer all those players, who in the hell is left on the team? Carmelo's not signing with the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets. He's not gonna win there either. The Lakers put the bait out there for a Carmelo-Bynum deal, but unfortunately for him, the Nuggets aren't quite that stupid. So that leaves only one team to make a deal, the New York Knicks. Sounds good right? Make the deal and make it happen. Only its not that simple because....
Reason #2. Carmelo's agent and killed most of his leverage.
From Carmelo Anthony's agent Leon Rose: (courtesy of Marc Spears on Yahoo! Sports)
Several sources told Yahoo! Sports that Carmelo Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose, has recently begun informing teams that the All-Star forward is interested in signing a contract extension with only the New York Knicks. The stance has weakened the Denver Nuggets’ leverage in trying to deal Anthony, not only to other teams, but also the Knicks.
The sources said the Knicks don’t feel pressed to present a substantial trade offer to the Nuggets because they think they can also sign Anthony after the season if he opts out of his contract, as expected.
As argued last Wednesday on The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show (airs tonight at 9pm ET) there's no reason in life for the Knicks to give a substantial offer to the Nuggets for #15. The Nuggets recently requested Raymond Felton, Danilo Galinari, Eddy bleeping Curry's expiring contract, and a 1st-round pick in return for Carmelo.
The Knicks replied with the following in an email:
Sheeeeee-it. (Clay Davis)
If I were the Knicks, I'd offer the Eddy Curry contract and one of those small forwards (Chandler, Galinari, Fields) and keep it moving. No one else is going to offer anything better, because Carmelo's only going to sign in New York. You know why....
Reason #3. Because LaLa killed the rest of Carmelo's leverage.
Look, Carmelo's married now. He's making decisions for two instead of one. Anytime anyone's ever asked Carmelo about her influence in the decision, and he's been strong with the response...well, kinda.
“Y’all put this in bold words, La La has nothing to do with anything,” Anthony said. “Whatever is my decision, she is going to support me. She has nothing to do with me staying or leaving. Nothing. So please keep her out of it. Thank you."
Melo reiterated his point by saying, "This is my career. This is my decision."
But of course, he also admitted the La La's wishes aren't entirely out of the picture.
"Of course, I got to consult her with everything," said Melo, "It wasn’t one conversation I had with her where she said, ‘Let’s get out of Denver.’"
Y'all see what he did there, right? You saw that, the man ain't stupid. That's his gal, and his gal is going to have some influence. Leverage...squashed.
Reason #4. Because Carmelo Anthony is Black and Puerto Rican.
Just like me. Life is hard out here for us folks who lived this mixed life, you just wouldn't understand.
Reason #5. Because if he wants true happiness, pulling a power move is the only way to go.
Look at Deron Williams in Utah, look at Chris Paul in New Orleans, look at Monta Ellis in Golden State. There are elite players with organizations with no hope for the future. We've seen what the Lakers and Celtics have done with great organizations. We've seen what a group of player's collective power move in Miami. Carmelo's in the same boat in Denver, and he realizes that a power move is the only option he has to be happy. Money isn't going to make Carmelo happy, but you'd be stupid to leave money on the table.
Tough decisions lay ahead, but #15's got to man up. Carmelo might not be able to have one's cake and eat it too, but that's why Carmelo wears the pants sir. Come out and make a final decision and stick by your guns, it will all get easier after that.
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk (and hopefully on the radio soon) show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!