yes sir! If you have insider let us know what all the speculation is about
yes sir! If you have insider let us know what all the speculation is about
Carmelo Anthony: N.Y. 'ultimate dream'
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.
Anthony and his wife, LaLa Vazquez, are from the area.
"That's like the ultimate dream at the end of the day," Anthony said. "Who wouldn't want to go back home to play?"
Anthony stopped short of saying he wanted to play for the New York Knicks or the New Jersey Nets, who will move into a new arena in Brooklyn in 2012 not far from where Anthony grew up.
"I don't know, I mean I can't really answer that question," Anthony said when asked where he wants to play next season. "It's tough for me to sit here and say, 'Oh, I want to play in New York' [or] 'Oh, I want to play in New Jersey' [or] 'Oh, I want to stay here in Denver.' "
Anthony admitted he's had a difficult time dealing with all of the trade rumors.
"It's kind of hard for me to even watch sports right now," Anthony said. "That's all they're talking about right now."
He added, "I haven't had a good night's sleep since Thanksgiving."
Anthony said he was surprised when the Nets emerged as possible trade partners with the Nuggets.
"I [had] never really thought about the New Jersey Nets," he said, before allowing that he has subsequently considered the possibility.
"I see what the future holds, they'll move into Brooklyn. ... Me going back home to Brooklyn, opening that arena ... I think about all that stuff."
But Anthony also said, "I haven't even thought about [signing an extension with the Nets]."
If the Nets do trade for Anthony, they would likely want assurances he would sign the three-year, $65 million extension he left on the table with the Nuggets. If not, he would become a free agent after the season.
Anthony refused to say he would sign an extension with another team, saying "I have to weigh everything, all the options."
On Saturday before the Nuggets' home game versus Cleveland, Anthony clarified his conditions for signing the extension.
"I got to feel like I have a chance of reaching my ultimate goal of a championship," Anthony said, according to the Denver Post. "Going to a bigger market is cool, but if I feel like I have a chance of winning a championship here in Denver in the next five years, then I'd sign the extension."
As for speculation his preference is to play for the Knicks, Anthony said the assumption originated from last season when the Nuggets were playing at Madison Square Garden and he said: "Who wouldn't love to play in one of the greatest arenas in the world?"
He also thinks the Knicks speculation was fueled in part by events at his wedding in New York this summer.
"It got out the next day that me and [New Orleans Hornets guard] Chris Paul were supposed to be in New York," Anthony said of the infamous toast that Paul reportedly made, but Anthony downplayed it, saying it was all in jest.
"It was a lot of laughter, a lot of joking, no one took it serious."
Anthony described himself as being in a "lose-lose situation." He said no matter where he chooses to play, he'll disappoint the fans of a team he doesn't choose.
Anthony said while he's been able to stay focused on basketball, he's aware of the magnitude of the looming decision.
"Any decision I make is the biggest decision of my life," Anthony said. "It'll carry on and it'll follow me for the rest of my life, too."
"[This decision] will define my legacy."
He did say he won't emulate LeBron James' process, in which the former Cleveland Cavaliers star announced on "The Decision" on ESPN he was taking his talents to South Beach to play for the Miami Heat.
"I will not do it that way," Anthony said, before adding "as far as his decision, I support him, that's one of my close friends."
Anthony took exception to the idea he wanted out of Denver, disagreeing with that characterization. He says he holds Denver in high regard and cares about Nuggets fans.
"I was able to step right in and live up to the expectations," Anthony said of joining the Nuggets as a rookie from Syracuse.
Denver won 17 games in 2002-03, but in 2003-04 Anthony led the Nuggets to the playoffs, and they've been in the postseason every season since.
Anthony thinks he'll be traded before the deadline if he doesn't sign the extension with the Nuggets.
Anthony said he is concerned about the expiring collective bargaining agreement and the effect it could have on his financial stability.
He said the new CBA is "the most important thing right now" as he weighs his future options. He would risk losing millions of dollars by entering free agency under a new agreement, which is likely to have a lower ceiling for player salaries.
Ultimately, Anthony said playing for a winner is more important than money.
"That gold ball is what everybody wants," he said of the NBA Finals championship trophy.
Carmelo Anthony: 'I don't want to talk'
New Jersey Nets officials, led by majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov and minority owner Jay-Z, expect to have the opportunity Tuesday or Wednesday to make a face-to-face pitch to Carmelo Anthony, according to sources close to the negotiations.
Sources told ESPN.com on Sunday night that details of the meeting, which would likely happen Tuesday at an undisclosed location, were still being finalized Sunday night. The Nuggets play host to Oklahoma City on Wednesday.
Anthony, though, professed to have no knowledge of a meeting -- or desire to have one -- when he met the media Sunday night after Denver's loss in San Antonio. A sitdown could either clinch or squelch New Jersey's months-long pursuit of Anthony depending on his willingness to sign a three-year, $65 million extension with the Nets.
"I don't want to talk to nobody," Anthony told reporters in San Antonio. "I let the front office handle that type of stuff. It ain't my job to be talking to New Jersey, New York, the Lakers, Dallas, no one. That's not my job to do."
NBA.com was the first to report Sunday that the Nets had been formally granted permission for a face-to-face meeting with Anthony. ESPN.com reported Friday that the league office would have no issue with a sitdown, since it does not regard such contact to be tampering as long as the Nuggets have given the Nets clearance to speak directly to Anthony.
"The team owns [Anthony's] contract," one league source said of the Nuggets. "They can do what they want."
Yet it was unclear late Sunday if Anthony's negative reaction to the idea of meeting with the Nets stemmed from his apparent belief that such contact violates league rules or because he is finally ready to make it clear to the Nets that he won't agree to an extension.
"That's news to me," Anthony said of speaking directly to New Jersey. "I can't talk to them people. The Denver Nuggets still pay me."
When informed by the assembled reporters that the league approves of such contact as long as the Nuggets grant permission, Anthony added: "Y'all have to ask [Nuggets vice president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri] about that, because me personally, I don't think he gave anyone permission to talk to me about anything."
The Nets are unwilling to complete a trade for Anthony unless the 26-year-old agrees to sign a three-year, $65 million contract extension as part of the transaction in what is known as an extend-and-trade. Boston used the same formula in the summer of 2007 to acquire Kevin Garnett from Minnesota.
After weeks of conflicting media reports about Anthony's willingness to sign an extension with New Jersey, Prokhorov has privately maintained confidence that he could sway Anthony to buy into the Nets' future prospects and the team's move to Brooklyn starting with the 2012-13 season as long as he could get in front of him.
Although two sources with knowledge of Denver's thinking stressed again Sunday that no trade is imminent, Prokhorov's anticipated sitdown with Anthony -- or Anthony's refusal to accept his invitation -- figures to bring a resolution to the Nets' interest in the star forward one way or the other. The Russian billionaire was scheduled to arrive in the States from Moscow before the Nets' game Wednesday against Utah, which is "Russian Culture Night" at the team's temporary home in Newark, N.J.
Despite Anthony's well-chronicled preference to land with the New York Knicks if he leaves Denver, there was widespread belief throughout the league last week that the Nets and Nuggets were finally on the brink of a three-team deal involving the Detroit Pistons to send Anthony to New Jersey.
But if Anthony resists an extension this week, there would seem to be little reason for New Jersey to continue chasing a deal it has been pushing since September, when a four-team trade involving Charlotte and Utah that would have landed Anthony with the Nets also came close to completion before collapsing.
If Prokhorov and Jay-Z do get their meeting and are sufficiently persuasive in convincing Anthony to be the face of the Nets, New Jersey and Denver would have the go-ahead needed to finalize a three-team deal with Detroit expected to feature at least 15 players and land the Pistons' Richard Hamilton and the Nuggets' Chauncey Billups in New Jersey with Anthony.
The most recent construction of the deal calls for the Nuggets to acquire prized Nets rookie Derrick Favors, New Jersey's former All-Star guard Devin Harris, Nets sharpshooter Anthony Morrow and at least two first-round picks, although sources say that one of the holdups in recent negotiations has been Denver's determination to acquire at least one more future first-rounder.
Detroit's motivation for participating, meanwhile, is largely financial. The franchise is up for sale and swapping Hamilton for Nets big men Troy Murphy and Johan Petro and a future second-round pick would result in a savings of more than $17 million for Detroit.
The Nuggets have been fielding interest in Anthony for weeks, with Ujiri announcing in mid-December that he was "listening aggressively" to trade pitches. It was the first public signal that the Nuggets were resigned to moving Anthony before the Feb. 24 trade deadline.
Since September, however, Denver's most serious trade discussions have always been with New Jersey, because only the Nets appear to have the trade assets capable of significantly reducing Denver's luxury-tax bill while also furnishing the Nuggets with multiple lottery picks and a young player with Favors' promise.
The Knicks have not yet abandoned hope of winding up with Anthony, but they've also known from the start that teaming him with Stoudemire would likely require Anthony being willing to sacrifice money. Denver has shown little to no interest in making a trade with New York because the Knicks don't have lottery picks to offer or a frontcourt prospect with Favors' upside.
The Nuggets have looked elsewhere for a young forward they like as much as Favors, but have been met with staunch resistance when they pursued players such as the Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin and Portland's unheralded Nicolas Batum.
Anthony has said repeatedly that he wants to sign the extension before the June 30 deadline in hopes of locking in his next contract under the current collective bargaining agreement. If he declines to sign the extension, Anthony has the ability through an opt-out clause in his contract to become a free agent July 1, with the terms of his next deal dependent on the outcome of the next collective bargaining agreement. Fears of a more onerous labor agreement and an overall reduction in salaries after this summer's negotiations have kept New Jersey hopeful that Anthony could be convinced to sign an extension with the Nets in spite of any reservations he has.
But some of Anthony's comments over the weekend suggest that he might still be willing to wait for free agency and turn down the Nets once and for all.
In a TV interview Friday with ESPN's Colleen Dominguez, Anthony referred to playing in New York as his "ultimate dream." The Brooklyn-born Anthony didn't specify whether playing for the Nets in Brooklyn would match that dream, but he appeared to give the Knicks further hope in a Saturday group session with reporters in Denver when he said he's not averse to a reduced salary if it increases his chances for championship.
"[If] I have a chance to win a championship and make less money," Anthony said Saturday, "I don't have a problem with that."
That would appear to contradict a pro-Nets comment Anthony made in Friday's interview with Dominguez, when he said that the league's next labor pact is "the most important thing right now" when assessing his future.
When asked specifically about the Nets by Dominguez, Anthony said: "I [had] never really thought about the New Jersey Nets [before trade talks got serious in September]. I see what the future holds, they'll move into Brooklyn. ... Me going back home to Brooklyn, opening that arena ... I think about all that stuff."
Projecting future salary-cap space is difficult without knowing what the new collective bargaining agreement will look like, but the Nets privately believe that they would still have the ability after acquiring Anthony to go after New Orleans' Chris Paul, who is eligible to become a free agent in 2012. Convincing Anthony that they'll have the requisite cap space to chase Paul or Utah's Deron Williams (another 2012 free agent) to join him and center Brook Lopez is a key element of Prokhorov's strategy, sources say, although the Knicks and other teams continue to convey skepticism to Anthony's representatives that the Nets would really have enough cap space to do so.
Anthony, for his part, continues to insist that he'll be a Nugget for the foreseeable future, scoffing Sunday night when he was asked if the loss to the Spurs was likely to be his last game in a Denver uniform.
"Not at all," Anthony said. "I'm going to play Wednesday against Oklahoma City, and then against the Lakers. Then Indiana. Yep."
New Jersey Nets drop Carmelo Anthony deal
NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Nets have pulled out of the Melo-drama.
Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov delivered the bombshell to the media on Wednesday night as he made his opening statement after traveling to the United States for what he thought would be a chance to finish the deal to bring Carmelo Anthony to the Nets from the Denver Nuggets.
"I'm not happy with the way ... this deal has gone until now," Prokhorov said. "It has taken too long. It has been played out in public and it certainly has taken a toll on the players and I believe that it has cost us several games. I think management did a great job, but there comes a time when the price is simply too expensive. I'm instructing our team to walk away from the deal."
The Nets have lost six straight, including all four on a just-completed West Coast road trip that ended in Oakland on Monday.
The decision to pull out of the talks was made Tuesday, said Prokhorov, who displayed a discernable level of frustration at the collapse of the deal the Nets had been working on for three months.
"It's my decision," said Prokhorov, who said the Nets were given permission to speak with Anthony but never got a "straightforward answer" on the specifics of that meeting.
Prokhorov said he never heard from Anthony.
"Maybe he sent me an e-mail, but I don't have a computer," Prokhorov said. "Maybe the carrier pigeon got lost."
Denver general manager Masai Ujiri declined to answer questions about the Nets' decision, beyond saying the Nuggets have been in talks "with plenty of teams" regarding Anthony and insisting he harbored no ill will toward the Nets for calling off talks.
Nuggets coach George Karl said he wasn't surprised that Prokhorov pulled the plug on this deal.
"I think I've been one of the guys who have been kind of hinting to you that this is a lot farther away from happening than you all think it's going to be," Karl said. "But we've got a fun game, a hell of a team to play against tonight ... and I'm more excited about that than my billionaire friend from Russia kind of throwing another curveball or knuckleball into the process.
"If it's true, it's true. If it isn't true, it isn't true," Karl added. "If it's a ploy in the negotiation, that's for the guys upstairs to figure out."
Previously, New Jersey had offered to ship six players and at least two first-round draft picks to Denver in a deal that would have sent Anthony to the Nets along with former Pistons teammates Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton.
Derrick Favors, the 19-year-old rookie who was rumored to be the centerpiece in the multiple-player deal, was shocked upon hearing the news in the locker room before the game.
"I don't have to worry about it no more," Favors said. "It's over with. This is my first time hearing it. I'm excited."
Asked if there was a tipping point in the withdrawal, Prokhorov would not be specific.
"It is my feeling of strategy, that is enough," Prokhorov said.
"I am not ready to overpay," Prokhorov said. "As soon as you make a mistake, you can wait for the next chance for the next five or six years. That's why I prefer to be really patient."
Nets GM Billy King, who was hired to replace Rod Thorn in the offseason, said the Nets and Nuggets never reached an agreement at any time during the negotiations.
"I am not disappointed at all," King said. "It's been a long process. In all my years, 16 years in the NBA, I have never seen anything like this."
King said he came close to calling off the deal himself during the talks.
"There were times in my mind I wrestled with the same idea, because you get to a point where you say enough is enough," said King, who said he was frustrated by "everything" in the talks.
King called the seemingly never-ending talks on a Melo deal a perfect storm, with the Nuggets and Nets both dealing with new ownerships and managements.
"There is no blame for anyone," he said. "We all worked hard to get a deal done, we just couldn't get one."
King added Nets will now move on. Forward Troy Murphy, who was part of of the proposed Nuggets-Pistons-Nets, will remain away from the team until the Nets can trade him.
"This is not like the Titanic, this happens and the ship sinks," King said, adding the Nets' have five first-rounds picks in the next two years and plenty of cap space.
Sources: Lakers, Nuggets talk Melo
The Lakers and the Denver Nuggets have had preliminary discussions about a blockbuster trade that would send Carmelo Anthony to Los Angeles, according to league sources. The Lakers' package would be built around Andrew Bynum.
Talks are in the preliminary stages, but it appears that another option besides the New York Knicks has materialized for the Nuggets.
"There have been discussions between the two teams," one of the sources said. "The Lakers are definitely an option."
It is believed that the Lakers have not yet made an offer for Anthony but that the two clubs have merely had discussions.
Los Angeles has long viewed Bynum as a building block and potential star, but a series of knee injuries throughout his six-year career has frustrated the Lakers to the point that one source said the club would consider moving him. Bynum missed the first 24 games of this season while recovering from offseason knee surgery and also missed a game last week with a bruised knee.
Pau Gasol starts at center in Bynum's absence, with Lamar Odom moving to power forward, and the Lakers' record of 18-7 without Bynum this season is better than their record with him (18-9).
The Lakers' front office is not in full agreement on dealing Bynum, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher. Jim Buss, son of owner Jerry, was in charge of the franchise when Bynum was drafted with the 10th pick in 2005 and has consistently resisted any attempts to move him, including a deal for free agent-to-be Chris Bosh last season.
A Lakers source told ESPNLosAngeles.com Tuesday that the deal won't happen, and the New York Daily News cited an unnamed source in saying that the Lakers actually shot down a deal with Denver that included Bynum. But another league source maintained that a potential deal involving Anthony and Bynum is not dead.
Of course, Anthony, who can opt out of his contract after this season, would likely have to agree to sign a three-year, $65 million extension with the Lakers for them to part with Bynum. But Los Angeles is believed to be a city Anthony would be amenable to playing in, as he and his wife, La La Vasquez, bought a home there last summer. Two people close to Anthony said the Nuggets superstar would sign off on a deal that would make him a Laker.
The Nuggets have no interest in Lakers forward Ron Artest and sources said they may not insist on getting Odom either. A straight-up trade of Anthony for Bynum meets the financial requirements of the collective bargaining agreement, but more players could be involved since Denver would look to shed as much salary as possible.
The Lakers first contacted the Charlotte Bobcats last week, looking to deal Artest for either Stephen Jackson or Gerald Wallace, sources told Bucher. The Bobcats were initially intrigued because owner Michael Jordan has long appreciated Artest's toughness, but talks ended during the weekend after the Bobcats learned Artest was not excited about playing in Charlotte.
The Nuggets are also engaged in talks with New York about a three-way trade involving the Minnesota Timberwolves. Initial discussions centered around Denver getting Wilson Chandler, with Minnesota sending Corey Brewer and a first-round pick to Denver as well. But Denver wants more than that and has its eye on young Knicks assets Danilo GallinariLandry Fields, along with Chandler. and
Minnesota, which would receive Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry in the trade, also wants more in return if it is to send a first-round pick to Denver.
In a sign that the Denver-New York talks have heated up, Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan has had direct negotiations with Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke, according to the New York Daily News.
One stumbling block to a Nuggets-Knicks deal, however, is the health of Chandler. The Daily News reported Tuesday that he is experiencing discomfort in his surgically repaired left ankle. Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni refuted that to ESPNNewYork.com.
What is clear is that with the Feb. 24 trade deadline approaching, the Nuggets are weighing every possible option, including holding on to Anthony for the remainder of the season while hoping the owners can negotiate the right to put a franchise tag on players in the new collective bargaining agreement. Under that scenario, the Nuggets would be able to "franchise" Anthony and keep him in Denver.
The likeliest outcome, however, remains that Denver will trade Anthony before Feb. 24.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson, another source said, would like to see how his team performs in a rematch against the Celtics Thursday and in the remaining five games on its current seven-game road trip before deciding to make such a dramatic move.
The Lakers' motivation to upgrade their roster largely stems from the struggles of Artest this season. He was considered an important component last season in defending premier small forwards such as Kevin Durant and Paul Pierce, and the Lakers may see either the Celtics' Pierce or the Heat's LeBron James in the Finals if they were to get that far.
But Jackson has not played Artest down the stretch in a number of games this season because he has been ineffective both offensively and defensively.
The Nuggets like Bynum's immense upside and believe that, at 23 years old, he can overcome his health issues. But they understand it would be a risk, and are not entirely certain they would trade for him, one source said.
A source close to Bynum said Tuesday that he relishes the opportunity to defend the Lakers' championship. He was limited in the playoffs last season due to his knee. But he realizes that until he becomes a free agent he can't control where he plays, according to the source.
Acquiring Bynum is not a huge financial risk for Denver, considering his great potential. Bynum has two years and $31 million left on his contract, but the final year is a team option for $16.5 million. If Bynum experiences another injury next season, the Nuggets could decide not to pick up the option and thus be on the hook for just the $15.1 million he's due next season.
Bynum is averaging 11.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in 27 games this season. In five full seasons with Los Angeles, Bynum has averaged only 56 games per season because of injuries.
Anthony is coming off a 50-point, 11-rebound outing Monday, but the Nuggets lost to the Rockets.
Carmelo Anthony eager for resolution
MILWAUKEE -- Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony put on a gray Denver sweatshirt and a pair of pricey headphones, then sprinted for the bus. A wrong turn kept him from the door and sent him right back into a wall of questions.
The key figure in the longest-running trade story of the season is just looking for a little peace at this point. He can't watch TV, can't read the news and can't avoid the same questions he simply can't answer right now.
"I really don't know what's going to happen to be honest with you," Anthony said after a Wednesday shootaround as Denver prepared to play the Milwaukee Bucks.
Speculation on where Anthony might land keeps intensifying with the latest rumors continuing to point to the Knicks in a blockbuster deal. Or the Nets. Or the Bulls. Or the Rockets.
Anthony said he's ready for a resolution, even though he insists he's not fretting about what might happen as the Feb. 24 trade deadline approaches.
"I know something will have to happen whether I sign the extension or whether the Nuggets move me or whatever," said Anthony, who is averaging 24.9 points per game this year. "Something is going to happen, so I try not to stress myself out about it."
That doesn't mean he can avoid the hours upon hours of coverage devoted to one of the NBA's biggest stars. He said he can "see" all the rumors out there, no longer needing to turn on the television in his hotel room.
"I turn on the TV, and I turn it right back off because it's always something, it's always a new team, always a rumor, always this person saying that, that person saying this," he said. "I try not to pay attention to it."
It isn't easy.
He acknowledged his thoughts keep turning to a murky future that he hopes begins to clear in a few days. But first, he'll have to get past at least one more major session with the media over the All-Star break.
"I know they're going to be looking to talk to me. And I'm going to be in LA for the All-Star weekend and every media outlet is going to be there, so it's going to be a 'MeloWatch,' I guess," he said.
I have no interest in Carmelo Anthony being a Bull. Just don't like him, not for the money. He isn't about team at all. I'd rather have a Jason Terry or Shannon Brown.
"Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak."
"If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain."
The way Deng is playing this year, we don't bees Carmelo