Lights, Camera….Melo!!!!

By Jerald L. Hoover
Updated: February 28, 2011

NEW YORK—The message was loud and clear from Carmelo Anthony to the Denver Nuggets, ‘get me out of here now so that I can sign my 65 million dollar extension or risk losing me for nothing ala LeBron James and Chris Bosh did to their respective teams.’

Well, Melo probably didn’t say it exactly how it was quoted but he sure did act and play the part. Any time someone is offered 65 million on top of the 18 million that he is set to make, making it 83 million in total and it’s turned down then one wouldn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out the person doesn’t wish to be there any longer. Melo got his wish and Denver was able secure viable talent (something Toronto and Cleveland was unable to do) by taking 4 young studs from the Knicks in Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov and Raymond Felton. That foursome paid serious dividends for this team this season. Felton came with the Amare Stoudemire signing as a free agent while Mozgov also came as ‘From Russia with Love’ a free agent. Gallo and Chandler were homegrown guys and very well liked by the Garden faithful. They will help the Nuggets if they keep them more than the Nuggets realize. They’re nice, likeable and very talented young men.

Although it was hard to part ways with all of those up and coming young players it’s not as if what the team is getting with Melo is an old man. Melo, who said coming to the Knicks, “this is like a dream come true for me,” is just about to enter his prime at the age of 26 and it’s fair to say that neither Gallo or Chandler will equal to what Melo is individually. Melo can, will and has won Playoff games, important ones on the road single handedly. That’s not a trait neither has been blessed with. Stoudemire welcomed and embraced the trade, he realizes he cannot carry the load alone. “We definitely wanted to build a team to compete for a title,” said Stoudemire. “I think that bringing in the pieces that we did is definitely a great step towards that.

And Chauncey Billups who also came in the trade isn’t just any ole piece of point guard. At 34 he’s 8 years older than Felton but he’s still a better player and is in great condition. Billups who is also known as, ‘Mr. Big Shot’ hit big shots during their first home game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Billups could also serve as a great mentor to reserve guard one Toney Douglas. “I could learn a lot from him,” Douglas said. “He actually helped me out a lot during my rookie year. When we were playing against each other he was telling me what I was doing good and what I can do better, stuff like that.”

Jerald L. Hoover

jeraldhoover@blackathlete.com