Thursday, March 5th, 2009 at 10:00 am  |  76 responses

Carmelo’s Side of the Story

by Marcel Mutoni

With Carmelo Anthony making his return to the Denver Nuggets’ lineup tonight against the Blazers, he and his coach say the incident that led to a one-game suspension is behind them. This, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that ‘Melo agrees with the punishment.

According to Anthony, he didn’t scream at Karl, and was simply trying to win a game … by refusing to sit on the bench when asked.

From the Denver Post:

“In my eyes, I thought the situation was minute,” Anthony said in his first public comments about the suspension. “Nobody really knew what happened. I didn’t think it was going to get as big as it got. He (coach George Karl) took that stance. At that point in time it wasn’t no need for me to even try to argue with it. He was already in the mode about a suspension. The suspension already took place. It happened.”

Karl and Anthony talked Wednesday about the incident and the suspension, to make sure they could move forward. “Like I told other people, I never had no words with George; we never had an argument,” Anthony said. “It’s just he took a stand on what happened and resolved it with a suspension.”

George will be happy to know that next time Carmelo’s instructed to sub out of a game, like a good soldier, his star forward will “sprint” to the bench.

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  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo

    Free ‘Melo!

  • jay

    Free the nuggets!

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Melo gonna get 40 tonight. Bet it.

  • Sesa

    This is Karl, remember?
    Billups saved his(Karl) job

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    Sesa, Karl was not in danger of losing his job.
    Billups might be cementing Karl’s long-term future with the team, but his job was not in need of “saving.”

  • http://indianz.com R3Z

    Karl is no winner. He has had plenty of chances to prove that, the Nuggets need to look at coaching instead of changing players every year. I see no defense let alone a winning offensive strategy.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Hey, I just copped a pair of these Js at the Las vegas Niketown last weekend. I’d never seen them before, what do y’all think?


  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    The Nuggets’ defense is LIGHT YEARS from where it has been the past five years.

    So, you don’t count the 900 Karl has already amassed?

    With the current team at full strength, they will be a threat to make the conference finals, period.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Cub is defensive today! Regardless, Karl is still a diva.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    “Son, I was SO smoked out!”
    That would’ve been a better answer.

  • http://allanzuss@yahoo.com Mendel

    Melo is NOT an All Star

  • bigdoggchad

    I have watched almost every Nuggets game the last 3 years. Karl always takes out players when they are hot or starting to get in a good rythym. Because he has his substitution pattern set in stone. Good coaches like Pop and Phil would have let Melo stay in to get his rythym back and breakout of the slump. And Phil and Pop wouldn’t have blown this up in the media like Karl has. Fake a@# Dean Smith. The bad part about the Nuggets advancing in the Playoffs is that Karl will get an extension. I almost want them to lose right away so they get rid of Karl.

  • bigdoggchad

    I think Ryan Jones was talking about Mendel’s answer.

  • Fred34

    I never met the guy, but Karl seems like kind of a tool. He might be able to coach, but when it comes to relating with players…. I dunno

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    It was Karl’s fault, then too, that Shawn Kemp was completely scared of Deke in 94, right?

    TAD, bad night of sleep, sorry, dude.

    Mendel, you’re right, he wasn’t.

    BDC, the substitution patterns have always been my one bone of contention with Karl.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Because of the injuries and poor shooting start this season, I’d tend to agree with you(for this season) Mendel. But is David West really more All-Star worthy? I really can’t stand folks who judge players on their persona rather than their game. Melo’s is clearly an elite pro, and while not having his beast season to date, he’s definitely an allstar caliber player.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Yeah, I really don’t like how GKs substitution patterns are so set. It feels sort of like a cop out. Its like he doesn’t actually have to manage and and analyze the game night to night, he just makes the normal subs regardless of the context of the game.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    Fred, George is a thoughtful, intelligent, and fair guy to speak with/deal with/cover.

    He gives honest and candid answers and I have never seen him ever slight anyone and/or be a jerk, ever.

    I also have tons respect for cancer survivors.

    His ability to relate to current players, though, could be questioned.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Cub just nailed it. How are the assistant coaches in Denver at dealing with some of the younger guys? That seems like an important role for the assistants to hold down, espcially if the head coach isn’t great at it.

  • BostonBaller

    Regardless of his stupid substitution patterns a player needs to come out if he is told to come out. The role of a player is to play and listen to the coach. If the coach makes bad decision then he will be dealt with (hopefully) A player does NOT have the right to go in and come out when they feel like it. James and Kobe sit at particular times in a game regardless of the situation b/c their coaches have a set time for them to rest. They just do it. Phil was that was with Jordan also.

    Incidents (small or large) are never warranted or a big deal if you ask the guy who is involved. lol.

    Melo should have a career season with Billups pn board. I hope they go far in the playoffs.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    I haven’t been around the team as closely as in years past (college columns will do that)but the younger ones (Mosley, Augmon) seem to be pretty in-tuned with the guys. Their roles, however, aren’t as substancial as the older guard (Dantley, Grgurich) whom have more of an on-court, instructional relationship.

    I think there is maybe 10 or 12 other asst. coaches that I didn’t mention, though.

  • don

    karl might not be a good coach, according to some of you, but HE IS THE COACH.

    I would have come out of the game even if i am the SUPERSTAR of the team. that’s called respect.

    bigdoggchad is right though, why take out a player in good rythym? milk the player.

    gawd, i’m confused myself.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Cub, no need to apologize. I was actually not being serious. You need to learn from the hardened veterans like Ryan and Russ how to be really abrasive. You are too kind.

  • riggs

    cub once punched a baby koala in the face, if that isnt abrasive i dont know what is.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    TAD, that might not be in my nature.

    I’m one of those “never been in a fist-fight” type of guys. People have always been afraid of the tall, skinny guy. It’s just intimidating.

    Although, i completely appreciate the work done by the aforementioned (R&R)veteran duo.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    Although, i will fight small marsupials.

  • CHE

    Mellow will be traded in the off season. I like Mellow, he has some emotional problems but I think he has great potential to do some damage in the NBA. Lebron has seperated himself from the “who’s better” talk but doesn’t mean Mellow sucks. I hope he finds the right fit in whatever teams he ends up with.

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  • bakers’ dozen

    well…the thing is, would Cavs treat LeBron like that? Would Miami suspend Wade? Would the Celtics suspend Garnett? you see what I’m saying? Even his own TEAM doens’t treat Melo like an All-Star.

  • Candice

    The Nuggets are only two games better than they were last year, only this year is the year they are in control of their own destiny. Now is not the time for Karl to be proving points. Utah is playing better with everyone healthy and Portland is good too.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Are you sure about that two games stat, because that is amazing.
    Did y’all read that? Two games better than last year. Crazy.

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    Melo is going home to La-La. I’m not feeling sorry for him. Karl is a d-bag though.

  • Candice

    I read it on a Nuggets messageborad. Last year 37-24, this year 39-22. I was shocked when I read it too.

  • bakers’ dozen

    It’s cause of their recetn 2-5 stretch. Plenty of games left, they just need to get their heads in the game.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    thanks for hipping me to that.
    What does that say man? Billups is obviously a better fit with the Nuggets than Iverson, but how are they only two games better than they were with Iverson when the West has clearly gotten worse.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    We all know Iverson gave away those two games.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    remember that last year was the Nuggets’ best season (win-wise) in 20 years.

    Cosign w bakers doz.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Cub, do you think Melo’s days in Denver are numbered… or are Karl’s?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Neither. Yes, i’m answering for Cub.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    Honestly, i don’t see either going anywhere.
    Yeah, people want them to keep improving and finally contend for a title of some sort, but in a town that has the Broncos’ recent Shanny firing/Cutler fiasco, the worst team in hockey, and a baseball team that just gave away arguably the best right-handed hitter this side of Manny, the Nuggets have been clear from major criticism.

    Also, throw in the five straight playoff appearances (only two other teams can boast that), improving records every year (which they do possess),and a solid combination of youth and experience and you have a system that might fall under the “if it ain’t broke” category.

    I feel these two can co-exist just fine.
    Winning playoff series cures all.

    ALSO, the Nugs have also played 10 of their last 13 on the road. Put up or shut up time with a back-2-back starting tonight at home w Portland followed by a road game across the divide against the Jazz.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    Nice TAD, thanks.
    My Virginia-based, Michigan-adoring friend will now field all of my inquiries.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    And those three home games were v. Boston, Atlanta, and the Lakers.

    Comparing records at “same points in the year” can be misleading due to these scheduling anomolies.

    Their next seven involve games Sacramento, OKC, LAClippers, Memphis, and Washington; plus two winnable home games w Houston and NJNets.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    That looks like a 7 game win streak to me.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    I think the Nuggets are better now without Iverson, but it’s still interesting that they are only two games ahead of last year’s record.
    And last year they didn’t have a healthy Nene or Jr. Smith, although they did have Camby.
    Honestly, I think the Nuggets have the talent right now to be elite, but I don’t think it’s going to happen with Karl at the helm.
    He’s out for dolo.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    …Well the Nuggs have lost 4 straight, so before that streak they were closer to 6 games ahead of last season’s pace… Nene is back in the lineup after missing a few as well. Imagine if they had kept Camby…

  • Vince

    George Karl hsa a horrible substiution pattern and he’s very inconsisten with his use of timeouts to stop the other team’s momentum at times. He threw Carmelo Anthony right under the bus suspending him for not wanting to come out of the game, then the FOOL compares that to when Tim Thomas refused to go back into a game with the Bucks. Can imagine if Karl suspended Kobe or LeBron for not wanting to come out of a game? The real coach of the Nuggets this season is Chauncey Billups, not FATSO Karl.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    ciolk, i feel they would be worse w Camby.

    That trade seemed dumb to most back then, but in the ecomonic climate, it is a move that now most teams are trying to emulate in some fashion.

    Fact: They are better defensively wo Camby.

  • clapzilla

    Melo’s Locked Up Until 2013, He Is Obsessed With Staying In Denver, And Kroenke Has Already Made It Apparent That He Wants To Continue To Have Melo As The Centerpiece. He’s Having A Tremendous Season Outside of Stats; Team USA Crippled His Stats. But Cub, The It Seems Like Tons of People Here Despise The Nuggets And More So Melo. I Quit Trying To Figure Out Why. They’re Most Just Bitter People.

  • bakers’ dozen

    Why are you capitalizing every word? :)
    Also, I see Denver getting a good signing in the offsesason…BUT, they need to play Balkman more. He’s the x-factor!

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    How do you have a tremendous season outside of stats, when you’re a superstar?
    That just doesn’t work.
    I don’t despise the Nuggets. I dislike George Karl. I wonder how much shady stuff he has to do before everybody realizes that he might be the problem.

  • donlaker

    carmelo blame it on the henny, or you can blame it on the other alcohol…chauncey is an upgrade
    but they miss camby’s blocks and rbounding
    and nene can’t fill camby’s shoes ,and balkman
    should get more time, he is a big body they need to hit open 15 footers, but it comes down to coach karl, he has to rest the starters at some point to get them to the playoffs 2nd round.
    and im not sure he is confidant with his bench
    hence melo not wanting to come out.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Not sure I agree with you there Cub. I think the main reason for the defensive improvement is that AI is no longer there falling off screens and getting blown by by every other PG in the league.
    Nene has seriously stepped his game up too, especially the insane FG%. I agree that camby may be overrated defensively because shot blockers get all the credit, but good D is usually just about making other teams consistently take tough shots, and the fact that Billups is on the perimeter (instead of AI)has made all the difference. That and Melo rebounding more consistently.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    And Camby’s contract really wasn’t that Bad, What was he making? 6 mill a year?

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Iverson sucked on pick and rolls, but Camby was just as bad, plus he’s a bad on ball defender.
    Camby never showed on pick and rolls, and Iverson always died on picks. So teams put those two together and your guard gets a wide open 15-footer every trip.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Good point AllenP. I prolly haven’t watched enough Nuggs games to challenge Cub on anything Nugget-related anyway. Nene is pretty good on the ball, he’s got quick hands and gets a lot of strips befoe the offensifve player can get the ball above his shoulders. I really am rooting for this Nuggets team now(after my hometown Spurs of course).

  • Drew

    I agree with Cub that it is deceptive that the Nugs are only 2 games ahead of where they were last year. The just went on a long road trip and had a bad 7 games. Hopefully, they turn it around the next few games.

  • Drew

    Cub, I only half-agree that the Nuggets are a better defensive team without Camby. They are a better defensive team with Nene starting, because he can hold his own against other bigs, which Camby had a hard time doing. They would be even better with a Nene, Camby, Anderson rotation, and they would have less injury risk. But they probably wouldn’t have signed Anderson had they not traded Camby.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I don’t care about the Nuggets, but riggs sure sucks!

  • http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&friendID=243084247 Witness

    I dont care…but doesnt it make you proud that leron james is the face of the nba and never gets into anything like this. the most hes ever said was call barkely stupid.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cub Buenning

    The Nuggets improved defense isn’t JUST because of no-Camby, but his contract was basically taken entirely “off the books” without having to replace the dollar signs. Not so much how much he makes per year (which i believe is actually 8), as apposed to removing the entire contract.

    True, Camby + Iverson on the pick and roll was misery.

  • http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&friendID=243084247 Witness

    nene, dahntay jones, billups and the birdman are the reason they are so much better.

  • CP34MVP

    i totally agree with witness. Karl’s job was in need of saving whoever said that it wasnt. if he didnt make it into the 2nd round of the playoffs this year he would of been fired. Chauncey Billups has indeed saved his job.

  • chintao

    If I were Carmelo, I would be quietly assassinating Karl’s character and lining-up my choice for his sucessor.

  • Tuomas

    R3Z, you do realize that 1) being a “winner” couldn’t be a much more subjective concept, mostly because by your standards there would probably only be a handful of them in the league, 2) without one Michael Jordan, Karl would have a ring, and thus be a “winner”?

  • http://slamonline WeezyLeezy

    Melo jus signed that extension too, right? I dont think he’ll last much longer out there. Knicks should make a trade. Lee/Harrington for Melo or somethin like that.

  • http://slamonline WeezyLeezy

    George Karl is wack, they are like oil and water

  • Jacob

    George Karl would do this,what a joke I hope that Karl doesnt try to divide the locker room, thats a damn good team down there in denver

  • Ned Mahony

    ciolkstar with the homerun.
    3 off – close enough.

  • Drew

    I live in Denver, and I am a Nuggets ticket holder, and I wanted to clarify one thing: nobody out here is talking about getting rid of Melo. The Nuggets were one of the worst teams in the league for years before he came here. The Nuggets team office is disfunctional, but they aren’t so stupid to understand that he is important to the team. And if you watch him game in game out, you realize that he is better than a lot of people think. He has been off this year, but he is still a really consistent scorer. He has the longest streak of games in double digets in the league. He gets to the line all the time. He has turned into a good rebounder. He is getting better on defense.

  • http://indianz.com R3Z

    I have been a supporter of Melo since ‘Cuse, but his actions have me questioning his approach to the game. I doubt if you want to be the best or play in the Finals, you start of the Playoffs with a DUI. The fight in New York, Melo has to priortize what he wants to accomplish.
    As for the poser Coach Karl, his coaching career is cushioned by the surplus of player talent on his teams. The Bucks where in the same situation as these Nuggets, never really fullfilling thier chamionship potential. The Nuggets have never seen the second round with Karl, I doubt they ever make it to the Finals with him either.

  • malanacream

    that’s witness… I’m 100% agree. Nene rules

  • Tuomas

    R3Z, can’t really argue with the second Karl post. What can I say, I had so much alcohol in my system yesterday that I’m glad I was able to even write coherent sentences. But yeah, Karl should indeed have more to show for the teams he coached. The ’96 Sonics were something else though.

  • Jack

    Mendel’s a hater. Melo could be a top 5 guy in the league talent wise. There was a reason it was LeBron and Melo 3 years ago, not LeBron and D-Wade. Melo has always had a co-star since then, so therefore he doesn’t need to do as much as either LBJ or D-Wade. Take away Billups, Melo’s averaging 30,8 and 6.

  • clapzilla

    @Drew, Melo’s Streak of 10+ Points Was Broken When He Only Played A Few Minutes of A Game Against Houston. Secondly, There’s An Absurd Amount of Denver Sports Fans That Want Melo Gone. Alot of The Nuggets Fans Think We’re Better Off Trading Him For 2 Good Players. They Don’t See It The Way You And I See It, They Have It Out For Him, They’re Crazy.

    And R3Z, Those Bucks Weren’t That Great. Go Look At Their Rosters, Its Far From Championship Material. But, They Were A Game Away From The Finals So Everyone Involved Deserves Some Credit.

  • OneStep

    He’s your coach Melo. Show some respect. He asks you to do something? You do it. Unless you fancy becoming player-coach of the Nuggets that’s how it is. It’s called a hierarchy and you don’t call the shots. If Karl sucks then he’ll be gone. But you’ll do what the next coach tells you too because that’s your job. Anarchy is never going to lead to success on the basketball court. Remember when you were mentioned in the same breath as Lebron and Dwyane? It’s incidents like this and your poor play that you need to focus on redressing. The coach is the least of your worries fool.

  • chintao

    OneStep needs to take his Geritol. Dude sounds like he farts dust.