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Denver shows Carmelo Anthony the money, he says he wants to see the wins

Jun 24, 2010, 12:35 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for Anthony_game.jpgCarmelo Anthony could be the LeBron James of 2011.

I don’t mean the Nuggets have a great regular season only go down a little too easily in the playoffs. Again. No, I mean the free agent stuff– the hype and love from cities around the country that want to lure him in if he would opt out of the last year of his deal and come play for them. Russian billionaires, Jay-Z, Spike Lee — they would all be calling. Everyone would be talking about him. Then the backlash would start to come as people got sick of him in the spotlight (that wave is just starting, but it is coming). Carmelo could have all of that.

Except Melo wants to stay in Denver, so his agent has been negotiating an extension. And according to Marc Spears at Yahoo, there is a three-year max-deal extension on the table at $65 million.

So he’s good with the money part. Not going to get bigger than that.

But Melo wants to win, too.

“I feel good about it,” Anthony said. “I appreciate them putting it on the table and wanting me to extend my career there. At the end of the day it’s about winning. If I feel I can win there, I will stay.

“I’ve been there five years. I’m comfortable there. Family is there. If I’m able to compete for a championship, I’m there.”

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, the Nuggets can do. They are already on the hook for $74 million next season in salary, well above the luxury tax. They are not a franchise that just spends like mad over that number.

That money will buy the exact same team as last season, which finished fifth in the West. The year before the same group finished fourth.

They are good, but if they are going to win — really win a title — they are going to need to make some trades and moves to bolster the front line. We’ll see how creative they can be. Or if they will run the risk of Melo going LeBron.

  1. Bob Fontaine - Jun 24, 2010 at 8:22 AM

    I cant get past the extension “3 years at $65 million” . . . What the heck is wrong with this country when somehow the economics are in place so that a fool bouncing a ball around earns a salary that would support hundreds of families? 21+ million a year, that’s 210+ people earning $100,000 a year, 420+ $50,000 a year jobs. Hey, good luck to him, but something is out of whack.

  2. Brandon - Jun 24, 2010 at 9:01 AM

    You cannot be mad at him by calling him “a fool bouncing the ball” You need to direct your hate at the team owner who is willing to offer him that type of money. It’s not his fault. I’m sure if you were in his shoes you would not say no to that type of money

  3. Sam - Jun 24, 2010 at 9:04 AM

    It’s what the market bears and sheds light on how much owners make if they can offer a player that kind of money. Without the players, like it or not, the owners make $0 on the team. The Yankees pay some of their players even more than the aforementioned. Moreover, there are a lot of CEO stock options that make $65 million look like peanuts. Are people outraged at those numbers?

  4. More power to Melo - Jun 24, 2010 at 10:14 AM

    Would you rather the owners get the money instead of the players? We pay the ticket prices. This is our fault, but more power to the players they are the ones we go to see.

  5. bush - Jun 24, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    I can guarantee you that if not for the NBA over half these clowns would be competing to be the worlds tallest trashman! Give me a break with these damn salaries already!

  6. rx - Jun 24, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    The players make the league what it is. They deserve their cut of the profits. Period. Just like any other business. If your business made this much money, wouldn’t you pay your employees accordingly? Its all just business.

  7. like it matters - Jun 24, 2010 at 11:21 AM

    What’s out of whack? The economy is working fine. People are bored with their lives and instead of pursuing/purchasing something of value, they pursue something of easy distraction, like sports.
    That’s why sports figures are better known and better paid than scientists. Name one major science figure who emerged on the world stage during the last decade. We can’t, but people love hearing about the next 16 year old who might (or might not) be a ‘star’ in the NBA/NFL/MLB. The World Cup/Olympics are broadcasted globally every four years. We haven’t had a major scientific convention of real impact since the Manhattan Project (which has its own set of problems).
    The current generations with any form of power will be remembered as lost generations, too absorbed in solving their own boredom to make any significant contributions to developing the human race (apologies to Sillicon Valley, may your shadow block the rest of us throughout the remainder of history).

  8. Supply and Demand - Jun 24, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    Bob, if there were hundreds of thousands of players as good as Melo, they would only be making $50,000 a year. However, there’s only a half dozen players better than him. So he makes a lot more.

  9. gail - Jun 24, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    Hey…at least the guy puts his body and health at risk to earn the loot. You think Tom Cruise is worth 25MM per film for the recent clunkers he’s put out? You think some of the rock stars are worth tens of millions for doing concerts while drunk, and then doing the groupies later? The only ones worth big money are the Victoria Secret models like Gisele. She makes 35MM a year and to me, she’s underpaid!!

  10. Carmelo - Jun 26, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    best player in the nba!

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