“I feel it’s a time for change”

With one simple sentence Carmelo Anthony essentially eviscerated the excitement from the Nuggets opening night undressing of the Jazz.  The Nuggets have held out hope that getting Carmelo into Denver and reminding him how good the team can be would sway him towards remaining a Nugget  for at least the duration of the current season.

Time to move on to plan ‘B’.

Even though Carmelo admitted to former Nuggets beat reporter and current Yahoo! Sports contributor Marc Spears that the current version of the Nuggets is more talented than the Western Conference Finals squad from 2009 Melo has no interest in hanging around to find out just how far the Nuggets can make it, and just as I was starting to warm up to the idea too.

For Nuggets fans who had held on to the fact that Carmelo had never once voiced his desire to leave in public or to the media, the following passage puts an end to that:

”They want to sit down and talk, but my thing is it’s way beyond this year,” Anthony told Yahoo! Sports after scoring a team-high 23 points in the Nuggets’ victory. ”It ain’t got nothing to do with the new GM, Josh, the players. For me, I feel it’s a time for change.

”If I do nothing now, I’m never going to do anything. I feel like my time is now to make a decision if I want to leave or if I want to stay.”

I know, I know, he still did not say, “Trade me” although the fact that Melo came out with his comments after the Nuggets played an exceptional game against a quality opponent shows that the situation is nearing the worst case scenario for Melo and his representatives.

I believe there was a strong push to trade Carmelo prior to the season started in order to avoid Melo personally destroying a contending team.  If the Nuggets started off hot and Melo ended up forcing a midseason trade, it would result in nothing but bad press and ultimately Anthony would be exposed as a player who did not put winning first.

After all the effort to try to be the good guy and leave on good terms, it appears Melo is going to end up driving a dagger into a promising season.  I expect his handlers to ramp up the pressure on Denver in order to avoid forcing a trade after the Nuggets have fully solidified themselves as a team to be reckoned with.

Today during DDL a chatter asked me what was worse, the way LeBron left Cleveland or they way Melo is leaving Denver?  My response was LeBron certainly handled the announcement of his departure as poorly as possible, but I would take that over Carmelo torpedoing a potential contender.

By leaving after the season, LeBron made sure the Cavs team would have a shot at finding out how far they could go.  His departure was painful for Cavs fans and Cleveland could have acquired better assets in return had they had the opportunity to trade him during the season than they did in a sign and trade.  Even so, LeBron did nothing underhanded and simply left for a situation he believed was better.

With Melo forcing his way out before his contract is up, he is ruining the 2010-11 season for the Nuggets.  Assuming Denver trades Carmelo after December 15, the season will be caught between a push to contend and an attempt to rebuild making it a throw away year.  He is also putting his teammates in limbo because when Melo goes, the team has to make some difficult decisions with players like Chauncey Billups, Al Harrington, Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen.

The tension must have increased in the Nuggets locker room this morning and with Melo finally voicing his desires for all to read the possibility of this thing getting ugly is now in play.

Stay tuned.

The following two tabs change content below.
  • Victor

    Dam Its sad our season is gonna end before it can even start. I was one of those Nuggets fans who had held on to the fact that Carmelo had never once voiced his desire to leave in public or to the media but after hearing this after we had just killed the Jazz is pretty disheartening. I wish he would sign cause as he said this is more talented team then the team that got to WCF but its obvious hes not and as you said he cares more about money which I really didnt want to beileve. But we have to trade him now and say good bye to our very promising season and this group of Nuggets we’ve come to know.

  • DH

    “I know, I know, he still did not say, “Trade me””

    It’s my understanding that publicly saying you want to be traded is impermissible under league rules. In other words, large fines would follow. If so, then Carmelo said he wants to be traded in the most direct manner that he could.

    I still would not blame the Nuggets at all if they halted any trade talks and held onto him through the deadline. Melo would have to panic at the thought of all those potentially lost dollars and should agree to sign the Nuggets’ extension (almost certainly with the understanding that the Nuggets would still trade him). The Nugs would have all the leverage at that point and Melo could no longer limit their potential trade partners to 2 or 3 teams. If the gamble fails, and Melo does take his chances on becoming a free agent, as a fan, I could live with it. But it’s a gamble they should win and it should result in a much better trade. Plus, there’s always the possibility that the Nuggets look like true contenders after the deadline. In that case, if we go for a title with Melo and ignore the consequences, that’s more than OK with me, too.

  • Cooper

    This is very sad, but I saw this coming. I was one of those Nuggets fans who interpreted Carmelo’s behavior, at least since the end of last season, as that of one who does not want to be in Denver any longer. And my response to that was and is, “Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish!”
    When I heard of the possible NJ/Utah trade, I liked it very much. With the pickup of Al Harrington, we could replace at least some of Carmelo’s scoring, while also switching the emphasis of our team towards a defense-first mindset. AK-47 would have helped that greatly, and Favors would have been another big to throw up against Gasol&Bynum, with potential to grow as well(I know he has no jumpshot, but what 19-y.o. bigman does?) Not to mention 2 FIRST ROUND draft picks from a team that still has a good chance to be in the lottery, or the trade value of those picks.
    When that trade didn’t happen, I immediately thought, “Mutumbo all over again!”
    We’re gonna hold out hope to re-sign a guy who clearly wants out, only to end up with nothing in the end.
    I’ll sign off for now, but my thoughts on this situation are extensive, as I’m sure they are for everyone here.
    I just love the Nuggets too much to allow one disgrunted star ruin my franchise for the forseeable future.
    I guess my overall point is, “Let’s get what we can for Melo, better than nothing, and move on.”

  • DHinNYC

    Melo is starting to sound like a brat. I know it must be annoying to have reporters constantly harping you about your contract. But those comments, after a great win, sounded so selfish. Like Jeremy inferred, it’s almost as though he wants us to lose so he can move on in good conscience.

    Screw that. I don’t think Nuggets fans have a stomach for rebuilding. I still hope the GM says “sorry, dude. if you want your money you’ll have to play here. If not, fine, just give us a good last year.”

  • ryanvdonk

    the problem with the AK47 and favors trade was that the nuggets would increase payroll to become a worse team…now if somehow kenyon’s massive contract could go with the trade…sheldan williams looks like a legit contributor, and with a contract that’s less than 1/10th of kenyon’s, so i wouldnt see any drop off with williams and favors instead of martin.

  • ParkHillNative

    When I compare the Lebron departure to this, I think “At least one thing makes sense about Lebron’s decision: He wanted to go to a situation where he was sure he’d have a better chance of winning.” If Melo could magically join the Knicks right now, without the Knicks having to give up a single thing to get him, they would definitely not be as good as the Nuggets.

    So why does he want to go? “It’s time for a change” — why? Why is it time for a change? A change from what to what? Just a change of scenery?

    It’s stupid. I’ve been glad for the way he turned this franchise around back in ’03, but he’s never been my favorite player. I guess if the Nuggets are ever going to contend for a title, they’re going to have to land someone like Tim Duncan or Kevin Durant in the draft — someone with good quality of character, who’s perfectly happy to be paid tens of millions of dollars to play basketball in an unglamorous medium or small market.

  • Fabrício

    It’s all Yoko Vasquez fault.

  • Jorge Posada

    I beg your pardon, but I do think LeBron made a mess in Cleveland on his way out the door. James took plays, and at least one game, off in the playoffs as a form of punishment to the franchise. His “decision” circus certainly didn’t do the Cavs any favors, and his dismissive, obligatory meeting with management to hear their pitch was certainly not something to be admired. And yet we all know how loyal the guy is….

    Melo being straight-forward this early in the season is not the worst way it could happen. There’s a certainty to it that will allow for the franchise to do some real planning. They may be worse of without this brat, but with 80 games to go they can at least find a new identity and build a strategy for free agency. The Cavs had a much, much shorter porch in that regard and their identity is now that of leftovers. In a league where teams can dwell on the bottom for years, that kind of identity is very hard to overcome.

  • asstman

    Melo to Portland for Aldridge and (after new contracts) Batum and Fernandez… He’d have a great shot a title and we’d have a future all-star in Batum, and other great pieces. (I’d take almost anyone on thier roster, plus Batum).

  • http://www.bing.com/ Peerless

    At last, someone comes up with the “right” awnser!