Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 at 10:45 am  |  14 responses

Carmelo Anthony Says Return to Denver Won’t Be Emotional

by Marcel Mutoni / @ marcel_mutoni

For the first time since he was dealt to the New York Knicks in 2011 as part of a multi-player megadeal, Carmelo Anthony will play in Denver tonight.

It promises to be an emotional affair, with Nuggets fans expected to loudly boo the forward who starred in the Mile High City for eight seasons before he forced his way out of town.

According to Anthony, however, he will do his best to treat it just like any other game.

Per Yahoo! Sports:

“I don’t think it will be emotional,” Anthony said. “I think it will be crazy sitting on the other bench, sitting on the other side of the court, being in the visitors’ locker room. But as far as being emotional, I don’t think so.”

Why did Anthony want to go to New York so badly? Other than the huge marketing opportunities a large market like New York offers, he says the other big reason was that teammates Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith, Marcus Camby and possibly Chauncey Billups (team option) were going to be free agents in 2011, likely going elsewhere and he didn’t want to be on a rebuilding team. “People didn’t really know the business side of the situation we were in,” Anthony said. “Everybody’s contract was up. They had plans of going younger. People from the outside looking in didn’t really get it.” [...] “I laid everything on the line for Denver,” Anthony said. “I did everything I could for Denver. They opened the city up for me when I was 18, 19 years. We grew together. I never want anyone to forget that.”

In addition to loud heckling, Melo will continue to deal with a mysterious right knee injury.

The Nuggets have done just fine without Carmelo Anthony—at 43-22, and riding a nine-game winning streak, the go-go Nugs are comfortably hanging on to 5th spot in the Western Conference standings.

George Karl, who occasionally butted heads with Anthony during his tenure in Denver, says the team should eventually retire Carmelo’s #15 jersey:

“I would probably say yes,” Karl said. “My gut feeling is, I don’t know if you want to do it at a time when the fans are kind of angry and frustrated, and probably some fans are anti-Melo, but in time I would vote definitely, yes. What he did for this franchise, turning it around. He has to be one of the two or three best players in Nuggets history, in my opinion. I vote yes.”

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  • Madubbs

    Im actually excited to watch the Denver Nuggets vs the New York Nuggets today!!

  • Max

    Nuggets will stomp on the Knicks.

  • http://twitter.com/_DFrance DFrance

    Seems like Melo has been in NY forever, kinda hard to believethis is the first return to Denver. I guess with the lockout, east vs west etc. Expect hjmto go off tonight… And the Knicks to lose. Lol

  • The Philosopher

    Just don’t fake your death if you don’t get a call…

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    He handled it pretty well like Chris Paul did. The Nuggets have been better than the Knicks since the trade. No reason for Denver to really be mad at him. Plus it was two seasons ago. Different than Dwight and LeBron who both went back to their old cities pretty soon after they left. Really, they should cheer him for wanting out and allowing them to get a better core of guys than they had when he was there.

  • Ugh

    Melo was in Denver?

  • LakeShow


  • robb

    no doubt

  • NuggetsFan

    As a Nuggets season ticket holder since ’96, I’ve been able to appreciate what Melo did while playing for the Nuggets. Did I always like his style of play? Not always, but I am not at all critical of his desire to want to play in NY. I was initially concerned that the trade would be more favorable for the Knicks, but now that I’ve seen the team we (the Nuggets) have, I am leaning toward saying that Denver made out better. Sure, Melo can light it up from anywhere and may be one of the greatest scorers of all time, but we are playing defense and winning games because of it. I miss JR, Kenyon and Camby too, for similar reasons, mostly because JR may be the most athletic player in the game (I didn’t say the best… he is far from that) because he does things that are amazing. Too bad he is a head case! KMart is tough as nails… also a bit of a head case. Camby, there isn’t enough room for me to give him the praise he deserves. It’s just too bad he didn’t play the inside game that you need your bigs to play. He is and was a class act!! I am excited for the game no matter who wins – I believe Denver is the better team, but I worry that their youth might be a negative from a mental aspect. I use the triple overtime against Boston as an example. They should’ve wine the game, but didn’t have the mental toughness required, and then thy let it affect the next two games against easy opponents. I wish Melo the best, but I think AI will shut him down and our bigs will dominate inside with Faried having a monster night. Go Nugs!

  • RunNgun

    BOTTOM LINE: No one misses Melo in Denver; they didn’t miss a beat when he left.

  • The Mauve Avenger

    Improved in my opinion. Great ball movement and great defensive hustle. Just a more offensively talented Chicago Bulls. Denver has alot to be excited about.

  • danpowers

    oh my another sad nyk bball night. no
    win in mind so far. jr plays with the mindset of an amateur, kidd somewhere
    lost his 3pt “balls”, novak just flatout sucks in 9 out of 10 games, they
    dont run plays through cope and chandler enough, melo is banged up and
    lost his commitment on d which he showed
    early in the season which seems to be contagious to the whole team,
    etc. its really heartbreaking to see the same guys who played like
    CHAMPS early in the season to now come out to perform like C*HUMPS. this
    is not knick basketball -.-

  • danpowers

    nuggets fans dont seem to have the best memory, hm? where were the nuggets b4 anthonys arrival? werent they one of the worst teams in the league with 18 wins that season? didnt they get to the playoffs any year since he played there? regardless of how far they got and the style of his play which nobody needs to be a fan of down the stretch. but he made that team interesting and was a big part of making them relevant again. just because he wanted to get “back home” cant be a reason to put it as if he was bad for that team. come on guys, couldve went all a little more classless e.g. the dwightmare

  • danpowers

    as a knick fan i have to say that i kind of feel like we picked up all your waste… and instead of cheering you ungreatful ba*terds boo us? come on! lol