Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: MrMichaelLee and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS
Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 01/26/2011

Carmelo Anthony on joining Wizards: "I never really thought about it."

By Michael Lee

You wonder why I don't want to play here? (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)


The Summer of LeBron has made way for the Season of Carmelo, as the Denver Nuggets superstar has dominated the headlines for the past five months with endless speculation about whether he will be traded to the New Jersey Nets, if the New York Knicks are willing to wait for him to enter free agency, or if he will just sign a three-year, $65 million extension to stay.

The Nuggets have too much talent on their roster to let the rumors surrounding Carmelo Anthony keep them from winning games, and while the uncertainty has certainly affected his play at different times this season, it seems like the all-star forward is enjoying the drama. It's his turn to get courted, to get showered with affection, to have teams make pitches to acquire his services.

The reaction to his clumsily veiled trade demand hasn't been completely positive, as a once faithful fan base in Denver has reacted to his wandering eye with anger and/or apathy. Anthony has been noticeably fatigued and conflicted through the experience, but if you don't think that Anthony is reveling in the solo spotlight, even if slightly, then you haven't been paying attention to the sly grin as he answers questions about his situation. He couldn't hold back the smile as he coyly deflected inquiries about how he has omitted the Washington Wizards -- the team closest to his hometown of Baltimore -- from his list of four desired locations to continue his professional career.

"I never really heard about the Wizards being interested in me. That's real talk. I never heard that," Anthony said with a smile, even though he knows full well that Wizards were one of many teams around the league that contacted the Nuggets when he appeared reluctant to sign an extension with the team last summer.

"I never really thought about it, honestly, the Wizards," he said.

A person close to Anthony told me recently that the 26-year-old forward didn't want to play for the Wizards because the team is "too close" to home. I've had that confirmed from several people who have spoken to Anthony. The recent failures of the Wizards and rebuilding plans could also be a deterrent, but for whatever reason, he never saw himself playing for the franchise that's closest to his backyard.

"They not giving Baltimore no team," Anthony said after scoring 23 points in a 120-109 win over the Wizards. "This is D.C., though, not B-more."

Anthony revealed to the Denver Post's Benjamin Hochman on Tuesday the list of places where he would sign an extension and that includes New York, Chicago, Denver and yes, New Jersey -- despite Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov's decision to back out of their highly-publicized pursuit of the three-time all-star. The Nets have supposedly been "close" to acquiring Anthony twice in potential blockbuster deals that collapsed as Anthony wavered in his desire to sign an extension with them.


I know what it's like to be where you are, John. (Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

The Nuggets (26-18) will conclude their five-game East Coast trip on Monday in New Jersey, but he said the game should not disrupt him or his teammates.

"Going into Jersey, I don't think that will be a distraction," Anthony said. "They took the deal off the table, I'm pretty sure guys around here can just focus on playing basketball and not really worry about that."

The Nuggets have won six of their past eight games, and Anthony has regain his scoring touch, averaging 29.3 points in his past four games. He's averaging 23.8 points, which is more than four points fewer than last season, and his 43.8 percent field goal percentage is the lowest since his second year in the league.

When asked if the speculation or the boos at Denver's Pepsi Center has affected his play, Anthony said, "Hell no." But he knows that his situation has clouded the entire season, with the Nuggets capable of being one of the elite teams in the Western Conference if Anthony sticks around. "It took for me one day to get everybody together and let them know, despite everything that's going on, I'm still here. I'm still going to go out and give it my all and I would like that in return," Anthony said. "As a result, we've been playing great basketball."

"Once I'm in the building, the only thing I'm focused on in is playing basketball," he said. "Anything else, is not even in my mind, it don't even matter. It's not fun to play when you're distracted. I'll tell you that. Us as a team, we know that. We just want to focus on playing basketball, doing what we do, which is having fun and playing the game."

Anthony was asked about Wizards No. 1 overall pick John Wall, who has been asked to be the face of the franchise after spending just one year in college. "I can relate. I went through it," Anthony said. "When I was drafted, I went to a city or franchise that only won 17 games in the previous year. I'm pretty sure it's a big burden on him, being the face of the franchise his rookie year, but he's got a long way to go. He's getting better and better each game that I see. The team is young and the sky is the limit for him."

After speaking with reporters, Anthony met with his mother, Mary, who was waiting for him in the tunnel outside the locker room. He gave her a hug and walked out with her and a few of his friends.

"It's always good to come back home and play," Anthony said. "Playing in front of my family and friends, people I don't see as often out there on the West coast, but coming back here, I can hear it. My family, my friends, they are excited to see me. I'm excited to see them."

The game on Monday was an emotional since it was the first time that he played near his home since his sister, Michelle, died last month at age 38, leaving behind four children. "This is a game she would be at, yelling from wherever she's sitting," he said. "It feels good to know that she's here in spirit and she's watching."

Trade rumors will continue to swirl between now and the Feb. 24 trade deadline. When asked if he wanted a resolution soon, Anthony said, "I don't know. I can't look that far ahead. I'm focused on tomorrow against Detroit. I can't look into February. Regardless of what's going to happen, it's going to happen. If I decide to stay, if they decide to trade me, something is going to happen. Until then, the only thing I can do is continue to give it all that I've got when I step on the court."

Anthony sighed as he explained how his future has been the dominant storyline of the season.

"I mean, people need things to write about. Fans want to know what's going on, so they are going to continue to read the newspapers, go online and see what's going on, and you guys are going to continue to write where I should go and what I should do," he said. "I never thought it would get like this. I don't want to say it's tough, but I'm the one that still has to go out there and be on top and do what I have to do, despite everything going on. I don't try to dig deep into the situation. Whatever decision I make, I'm going to make, regardless of what's being written about it or anything like that. In the meantime, I'm going to do whatever it takes to help my team win games."

And relish all of the attention.

By Michael Lee  | January 26, 2011; 9:00 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wizards looking forward to four-game road trip
Next: Video: Elvin Hayes on John Wall

Comments

lol. Doesn't want to play here because it's too close to 'home' (albeit according to a close source), but then states its always good to come back home to play in front of family and friends.

Posted by: cmterpsnskins | January 26, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Carmelo is a big contradiction... But must admit he is one of my favorite players... DC PG & Bmore keep it up !!!!

Posted by: pusha-d | January 26, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Too close to home yet too far from winning.

Posted by: jab31972 | January 26, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Here's the direct quote from Carmelo: "It's always good to come back home and play," Anthony said. "Playing in front of my family and friends, people I don't see as often out there on the West coast, but coming back here, I can hear it. My family, my friends, they are excited to see me. I'm excited to see them."


Note to Carmelo:
West Baltimore is less than 45 miles from the Verizon Center. You could see your family, friends, associates, etcetera and also make the Wizards relevant again. You would be bigger than Stephen Strasburg and Ray Lewis combined.

Posted by: musicmanjr | January 26, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

If you want to know Anthony's thoughts on playing here, just checkout the look on Kirk or Rashard's face half the time. We're going to have to build from within before any real deal FA will consider signing here. Or EG is going to have to identify a young stud like he did with Gil, and get'em before they blow up

Posted by: divi3 | January 26, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

After seeing the way he's jerked around Denver, I don't even want Melo. Just another diva who wants the attention and glamour but also wants to bail after a little adversity comes his way.
Wizards have to go the way of OKC build through the draft. Don't give up those valuable picks and surround the young star with has-beens and overrated role players like Cleveland did.

Posted by: LonnieBeale1 | January 26, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Anthony already has his mind made up. He wants to play for a large market team. DC is a mid-level market with not as many people, sky scrapers, and billboards to put your face on. And I think its better to have a solid low priced nucleus on the team like chicago had before you add a high profile free agent. Wizards are not even at that level right now.

Posted by: jefferu | January 26, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

The Wiz just don't have the firepower to keep pace with a team like Denver. They could easily be one of the top 4 or 5 teams in the West if they didn't have this distraction going on.

But if Carmelo walks, or forces a trade, they'll be in major rebuild mode. Look for some of the other Vets on that roster to get shipped out as well. Some possibly before the deadline this year. if Melo takes the extension and excepts somebody's trade offer.

Interesting that his people still have NJ on his list even though he was dragging his feet during the trade process before.
Once the Melo trade goes through the flood gates could open, since he's moving from West to East it could change the balance of power in both conferences other teams will attempt to respond.

I still got to think landing on the Knicks is his goal, and that they will then find a way to put together their own big 3. Wasn't Melo who supposedly hinted at that in a Wedding toast last summer?

Since the league owns New Orleans, wonder what they think about a player talking out loud about him and another player under contract with another team both moving to a third team together? Has a player ever been fined for tampering?
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | January 26, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"It's more interesting with Nick's stats handy.Posted by: djnnnou"

I didn't see that; thanks. I forget who called those 16-23 footers 'sh** shots', but you can see how many teams try to force opponents into taking them. The Denver game is an example of what happens when you allow a hot-shooting club to sit outside the arc and launch 3's.

You lose.

Posted by: Samson151

Nick Young taking those shots is a small problem. The larger problem is that our bigs take a lot of those shots as well. AB and Yi in particular tend to live out there. I would also make a bit of a distinction. I'm more ok with AB taking 15-18ft jumpers. But his tendency and definitely Yi's tendency are to take 19-22ft jumpers. I don't have stats in front of me, but I'm going to guess those are noticeably less efficient than 15-18 fters. It's why I got irritated when I heard Randy Wittman tell AB to keep taking those shots that those are "good shots" if he's open. They really aren't.

Some of it is definitely inherent in Flip's offense, but some of it is also on the players not settling for those shots.

Posted by: ts35 | January 26, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Some of it is definitely inherent in Flip's offense, but some of it is also on the players not settling for those shots.

Dray started off gangbusters, but still can't sustain that level of effort for more than a quarter or so. Once he's winded, further and further from the interior he goes

Posted by: divi3 | January 26, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

"He couldn't hold back the smile as he coyly deflected inquiries about how he has omitted the Washington Wizards -- the team closest to his hometown of Baltimore -- from his list of four desired locations to continue his professional career."

A smile? Hell, I give him credit for not breaking into raucous laughter.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 26, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"out there on the West Coast"... Denver being situated on the West Coast of the Great Plains, I guess?

Posted by: NateinthePDX | January 26, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Nick Young taking those shots is a small problem. The larger problem is that our bigs take a lot of those shots as well. AB and Yi in particular tend to live out there.

Yi could be more selective, but he doesn't play enough for it to be a real problem. He's at 50% for the year, too. Hoopdata has the Wizards at #1 in attempts from 16-23 ft with a 38.7FG%. AB is hitting 30% of his 4.6 attempts.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 26, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

He wants to play for a "professional" team. Thats why he is not coming to the Wiz

Posted by: Fx10 | January 26, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Someone tell Carmello to Stop Snitching before he plays for the locals. He might get in more trouble if he played too close to home.

Posted by: LargoD85 | January 26, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Good lord, are we going back to territorial rights? The Wizards have no more right to Carmelo than Cavs master Simon LeGilbert had to the lifetime services of Lebron. How many games in a row that plantation lost now?

Posted by: Nemo24601 | January 26, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Someone tell Carmello to Stop Snitching before he plays for the locals. He might get in more trouble if he played too close to home.

Extra security at VC every time the Nuggets are in town, whacked

Posted by: divi3 | January 26, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I think Melo believes that if he has to go to a bad team trying to get better he would rather it be NY. Right now they are better than the wizards and have another established star player to compliment him. The wizards are about two good players and a couple of seasons from being the type of team he would come to.

Posted by: ged0386 | January 26, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

After seeing the way he's jerked around Denver, I don't even want Melo. Just another diva who wants the attention and glamour but also wants to bail after a little adversity comes his way.
Posted by: LonnieBeale1

Come on lonnie, he is not the first star player to be traded or involved in trade rumors. He will be a free agent at the end of the season so he can go wherever he wants. Its the nuggets thats doing the jerking regarding trade. He does not control that. Just because he does not want to sign a contract extension and test free agency does not make him a diva, it makes him a smart businessman. I guess he should just act like a good old slave and do what denver tells him. The same team that will have no problem trading him to avoid paying the back end of his contract or if he gets hurt. What would you do?

Posted by: ged0386 | January 26, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

You know what we need? we need Terrance Jones

Posted by: hassanyj | January 26, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

for my folks that love the gossip, Gil's babymomma apparently robbed his great falls house of possesions and furnishings and is prepeared to go public to th media about allegations andout Agent Zero selling weed.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 26, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

pretty obvious he'd been selling to Nick for years!

Posted by: divi3 | January 26, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

for my folks that love the gossip, Gil's babymomma apparently robbed his great falls house of possesions and furnishings and is prepeared to go public to th media about allegations andout Agent Zero selling weed.
Posted by: lilhollywood10

If (and that's a big "if") it's true that Arenas hasn't been doing anything to support his children, I wouldn't blame her.

Posted by: nmik | January 26, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

"A person close to Anthony told me recently that the 26-year-old forward didn't want to play for the Wizards because the team is "too close" to home."

He should have said "Too close to getting into trouble." That would have been more believeable. Carmelo is from the streets, he's not Kobe Bryant.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 26, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if this was posted already, but it's worth perusing, if only for a chuckle.


Andray Blatche calls in to radio show to defend his defenseless play

http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/01/25/andray-blatche-calls-in-to-radio-show-to-defend-his-defenseless-play/

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 26, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

You guys are missing a bigger point. To me this is no different then the Lebron Cleveland/Akron thing.

What Im reading from Melo's comments is that D.C. is not Bmore. I think he probably grew up resenting & hating D.C.

This goes back to all the Bmore-DC beef just like people from Akron never got along with and hated people from Cleveland.

Thats another reason why Lebron had no care about leaving. He's an Akron guy. Not a Cleveland guy. Just like Melo is a Bmore guy and not a D.C. guy, close or not.

Infact, I may even go as far as to saying that he see's it as an insult. Like people from his home would look at him sideways for playing in D.C.

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 26, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

why are earth would anyone come and play for the wizards? They're irrelevant cahgne the name back get some young players and come back in 3 year and maybe they'll be decent but before then why? Silly question of a hopeless franchise.
Long live the Bullets

Posted by: jmfaruki | January 26, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

why are earth would anyone come and play for the wizards? They're irrelevant cahgne the name back get some young players and come back in 3 year and maybe they'll be decent but before then why? Silly question of a hopeless franchise.
Long live the Bullets

Posted by: jmfaruki | January 26, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

pretty obvious he'd been selling to Nick for years!

Posted by: divi3 | January 26, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I'd never doubt any NBA player being an avid weed smoker. But with a 100M contract, the risk of getting caught seem too steep compared to the gun deal. I can buy him Nick and Dom (2 guys with the darkest lips in the NBA) getting blazed regularly, but selling just doesn't seem practical for someone who makes as much legit money as he does.......... unless Ms. Govan is about to blow the cover off a Mexico-Cali-DC weed ring and Gil's a Boss. Gun collector...it all makes sense now.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 26, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Earlier in the season I thought I had a clue on what this team was about. Now I have no clue. Blatche needs to go soon. He cant get it together and is a head case, with a sissy mentality. Can play cant get it together. We need a power forward who can do all the things Blache can do, but wont. We have a big hole at PF and need some help at SF. We need a reliable 3 point shooter. We need Wall healthy. We need a coach.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | January 26, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Orlando Magic shooting guard Gilbert Arenas has had a few rough years..Besides landing in jail for gun charges, he’s been involved in a tumultuous relationship with girlfriend Laura Govan. Gilbert recently got traded to Orlando, and decided to cut off all communication with Laura and his kids..Now comes word from a source very close to Lauren, that she’s gone and done the unthinkable…She’s robbed his Great Falls, Virginia home, taking clothes, shoes, furniture, and even Gilbert’s fish tank and sharks. Laura has repeatedly asked Gilbert for money several times over the last month unsuccessfully. Laura has also been threatening to go to press over drug allegations involving Arenas dealing marijuana…Gilbert has yet to press charges and is trying to keep a lid on it..I doubt this will end amicably for either party. -TO

Link


Posted by: suliman215 | January 26, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Who cares? Arenas is gone. Good riddance to him and his drama.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 26, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Why on earth would gil sell weed? What, he's gonna make an extra couple thousand AT MOST a week on top of the millions he gets paid?! Of course, it IS gilbert were talking about so who really knows...logical thinking takes a back seat with him.

Posted by: bbachrac | January 26, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The question should be Carmelo and who else will make this team relevant again? Just signing Carmelo will not make this team any better. It will be another waste of $20 million per year on one player. Even Boston brought in 2 former Superstars to play along with Rondo and Pierce. I can see John Wall and Lewis as potential Rondo and Pierce pieces, but what 2 or more non-selfish Superstars will want to come here and make Washington better?

Posted by: JohnWWW | January 26, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

This would make me a happy man. Wall/Howard/Melo/Lewis/Seraphin looks good for the rest of this year. Then sign Dalembert or Chandler to be our starting center. I'd move young, Blatche and McGee for this at our likely top 5 pick. Denv could come out of this trade with 2 top 10 picks and Young, McGee and Blatche. That would be good for them IMO or as good as they will get in a trade offer.

Posted by: avbanig | January 26, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

NO way NBA player involved in weed? Geez if she breaks that news next thing she'll tell us he collects GUNS and has a mistress on the side!!!

Find it funny with melo saying this is DC not BMORE. It's true but sad that the area isn't represented more with it's sports teams. I remember going to caps playoff game two years ago first Harbaugh was shown on screen and booed yet zorn shows up next and the whole place cheers?

Really, one coach is doing an awesome job with a regional team that has 2-3 HOf players on it, great fan experience and playoff contention everyyear. The other coach works for a jerk who screws his fans and has NO business being a head coach is cheered? I get that rooting for the Ravens and O's aren't cool but ask yourself how many people at the cap center that night LIVE IN DC. It's just stupid and more people should embrace both teams o's/nat's ravens/skins so that it forces the other local team to do a better job, aka produce winners! Spend your money wisely in these tough times and you may actually help your team turn it around

Posted by: jdb70 | January 26, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Carmelo is a ball hog, doesn't play D, and is probably going to run with his home boys which will get him in trouble and be an embarrassment to the team. Be smart.
Dont be like the Skins. Build the team with good players through the draft.

Posted by: dfb69 | January 26, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Someone tell Carmello to Stop Snitching before he plays for the locals. He might get in more trouble if he played too close to home.

Extra security at VC every time the Nuggets are in town, whacke

Posted by: divi3 | January 26, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse


Huh? Basketball. Basketball = A no contact sport. Although violence is somewhat inevitable in the world we live in the less we comment about it the better for all of us.

Unless he has done something wrongful to you of course, which would then be non of my business, either way?!...

Posted by: AllDCSports | January 26, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Someone tell Carmello to Stop Snitching before he plays for the locals. He might get in more trouble if he played too close to home.

Extra security at VC every time the Nuggets are in town, whacke

Posted by: divi3 | January 26, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse


Huh? Basketball. Basketball = A no contact sport. Although violence is somewhat inevitable in the world we live in the less we comment about it the better for all of us.

Unless he has done something wrongful to you of course, which would then be non of my business, either way?!...

Posted by: AllDCSports | January 26, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

let himtake his big,soft lying azz to anywhere but here.how many championships has he won?thats what i thought.we need to build through youth and draft,create our own superstar

Posted by: billydee123 | January 26, 2011 7:53 PM | Report abuse

the wizards are the redskins of the NBA, a joke and no one other than a goat like McChicken and Haynseworth looking to steal a check will come here. the city is loserville and he is smart to stay as far away as possible. he would get double team hammered every night and the other 4 bums on the wizards could not post 10 a piece. he is a very smart guy. McChicken should have taken the same path and he would have been a happy camper in Az. or Mia. Here, he has shamed himself and tarnished his legacy.

Posted by: doyouktt | January 26, 2011 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. Michael Lee is the worst. The guy tells us every chance he gets that Anthony isn't ever coming to the Wiz...yet he keeps right about the subject. Seriously dude, just stop.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 26, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Carmelo was misquoted, he actually said the Wizards are "too lost for words".

Posted by: randysbailin | January 26, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

*typo

Ugh. Michael Lee is the worst. The guy tells us every chance he gets that Anthony isn't ever coming to the Wiz...yet he keeps WRITING about the subject. Seriously dude, just stop.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 26, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Why post an entire blog on a player who clearly has zero interest in playing in here? Maybe it can be a daily entry w/ a different player's reason for not wanting to play here. Kobe: "I'll miss Jack courtside." LeBron: "My talents are too big for that franchise." Durant: "Too close to home." DWade: "Too cold". Dirk: "The owner looks like a gangster".

Posted by: randysbailin | January 26, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

"I never thought it would get like this."

--says Melo...

ummm yeah right??? i'm sure he didn't notice how it GOT last year with lebron. he's a bad politician. go back to your cameo spots in rap videos. don't let nike change who you really are. we all know. i mean, come on. you're from bmore. you don't even want to come back.

Posted by: tedtw03 | January 26, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

dfb69, I totally agree. I dont get all the Melo hype anyways. He's definitely not in the Lebron/Wade catagory. They wont win a title in NY with him & Amare is the top 2 guys.

Posted by: dlts2041 | January 26, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company