For some reason the sight of Carmelo Anthony in a Denver Nuggets uniform is just as jarring as seeing Shaquille O’Neal in Celtic green or LeBron James in a Heat jersey. Wasn’t Carmelo supposed to be gone by now?
George Karl wishes we’d all calm down and accept it, and stop trying to ship his star player out prematurely. To Karl, nothing has changed.
“The intensity and the magnitude of this situation became such a hot topic, I thought it got a little bit crazy,” Karl said. “To me, my job is to convince Melo to stay in Denver. I don’t think that’s off the table. I’m sorry, I don’t think that’s off the table.”
It doesn’t mean the possibility of trading him is put on the back shelf. While the word from inside the Nuggets organization and elsewhere around the league is that trade talks have slowed down, no one claims they’ve ended. One team executive took Thursday’s announcement that the Nuggets hired cap expert Pete D’Alessandro as an indication that the team is gearing up for more complicated trade scenarios.
Meanwhile, Anthony might not have pledged his allegiance to the Nuggets, but he sure is giving them their money's worth as long he's in their uniform. He rolled into the locker room about an hour before tipoff, then went out and dropped 18 points, six rebounds and five assists on the Clippers in the first half alone during a preseason game at Staples Center.
Karl is still trying to convince Anthony to stay in Denver. He used his time with Carmelo after an early practice to share the vision he had while he contemplated his return from cancer to coaching, “About how I want him to get to the top of the mountain, and I want to be a part of it.”
Karl concedes that perhaps in the past he hasn’t provided Carmelo with enough assistance for Carmelo to extract the maximum from his abilities. He’d like to make amends and see this thing to its fruition.
Increasingly Karl seems physically up to the task. He’s thinner, yet stronger than he was when he struggled to stay on the sidelines last season.
I joked that Karl’s raspier voice makes him sound like George C. Scott in “Patton” and he responded with his favorite quote from the legendary general: “A good plan, aggressively executed today, is better than a special plan three weeks from today.”
That sounds like the opposite of the Nuggets. No plan in place now, but try checking back in three weeks.