Media day is a silly practice where the hip young bourgeoisie spout clichés to the proletariat who are more interested in the free lunch buffet table than anything the featured speakers could offer.
Well, maybe that is a bit calloused. There are certainly tidbits we can garner from the forced question and answer sessions. Let’s take a look at some of the quotes from media day.
In case you missed the preprogrammed “spontaneous” press conference in Denver, as predicted, there was plenty of talk about who is a Nugget. Apparently, Carmelo Anthony is a Nugget. If there was a theme for media day in Denver, that would be it.
Of course we were told that Carmelo and Masai Ujiri had a “great” conversation. Ujiri proclaimed, “I love Carmelo.”
Carmelo reminded everyone that “I never said I wanted to be traded.”
If there was anyone who broke ranks, it was George Karl who according to Chris Tomasson referenced how Kobe asked to be traded and mentioned he should talk to Phil Jackson about how to handle it. I doubt I need to connect the dots for my readers, but in case there are some Jazz fans wondering what is going on with the trade, I will play this out.
If Carmelo has never asked to be traded, what possible connection could there be between the current situation and when Kobe Bryant asked to be traded? I actually give kudos to George for not ignoring what we all know and playing silly linguistic games.
If there was a surprise it was that Chauncey Billups said he was not going to recruit Melo to stay. I do not blame him as a big part of Denver’s pitch as to why Melo should stay in Denver involves cap space and a key to getting that flexibility is buying Chauncey out after this season.
Things in Utah were probably a bit tense considering their desire to cut salary by shipping Andrei Kirilenko to Denver is well known. From the Twitter account of Brian T. Smith (@tribjazz):
O’Connor said Jazz are not actively looking to trade Kirilenko.
Translation: Don’t blame me.
#UtahJazz’s O’Connor made it very clear that the team listened to proposed Kirilenko trade, but not initiate it.
Translation: I did not ask anyone if they wanted Andrei, I only said OK when they offered to take him.
O’Connor also said Jazz plan to have Kirilenko in uniform when the season starts, but he can never make guarantees.
Translation: Once Denver gets their act together the skinny Russian dude is gone.
O’Connor on proposed Kirilenko-Diaw-Anthony trade: “If you’re going to make that trade, it would’ve been done Friday.”
Translation: I am tired of talking about this so stop asking me. When this trade ends up going through in a couple of days you will all have forgotten this little quote.
I see no reason why the Jazz would back out of the trade unless something better comes along, which is a possibility if the Nuggets drag their feet for too long.
Moving on to New Jersey, where media day was conducted on Friday in order to get some practice time in prior to a team trip to China, stories began circulating that Devin Harris is a little disgruntled. Harris was coached by Avery Johnson one other time when the two were in Dallas and as it so happens, Harris was traded to New Jersey during that time. Now that they are reunited Harris is wondering why the coach he endorsed to come to New Jersey is ready to ship him out the door again.
That will be a difficult relationship to repair. Plus, Avery said one day that Favors would not be traded and the very next day the news of the four team trade broke. I am guessing Johnson has some trust issues with some of his players and that is a difficult obstacle to overcome.
In Charlotte they are apparently still trying to work a better deal by claiming no one is excited to trade Boris Diaw. Everyone who believes Charlotte would not be willing to dump Diaw’s near-post-lockout-Shawn-Kemp-like-physique on Utah to acquire Devin Harris must be…well there is something wrong with you.
I realize there is talk that the four way trade is losing momentum. The reasons these teams became involved in the discussions have not changed. I believe this trade is still very much alive. In the next couple of days the Nuggets will finally give up hope that Melo can be won over, they will give up trying to get Blake Griffin or Joakim Noah, they will stop talking to teams like Philly and Golden State and call up their three compatriots and give the go sign.
If you are looking for more information, or do not trust my analysis, ponder this. We all know actions speak louder than words. Yahoo reported (story linked above) that Carmelo “didn’t engage in much of the normal promotional shots for the team’s Altitude television network and game-night operations.” Benjamin Hochman tweeted that he was able to confirm that.
Carmelo claimed to be 100% committed, just not to the Nuggets. If he cannot put the effort in to look into a camera and say, “You are watching the Denver Nuggets on Altitude” how is he going to do in practice when the real work begins?
While no one had the guts to come out and say, “Melo is not going to be around much longer, we just had to give it one last shot to talk him into signing with us because some of the folks around here are a little delusional” there was not one thing that was said or done to refute anything we all believe.
To catch up on all the minute by minute action of media day, make sure you check out the Twitter accounts of Chris Tomasson (@christomasson), Benjamin Hochman (@nuggetsnews), Chris Dempsey (@dempseypost) and Jason Kosmicki (@nuggetsradio) plus you can get all of my witty and insightful tweets @RoundballMiner. Jason also posted audio of Carmelo’s comments, which you can hear here.