By Brad Thompson–
The NBA trade deadline is February 24 – only a week away and I can’t wait. Not because I’m excited to see what team superstar Carmelo Anthony ends up with, but for all the speculation surrounding him to be over.
Since mid-August when Anthony decided he wouldn’t sign an extension with the Denver Nuggets, the rumor mill has been swirling about where he’ll end up. The coverage of Melodrama has been nauseating.
After getting burned out in the summer by an NBA offseason saturated with hype about The Decision and numerous other big name free agents, Anthony’s dog and pony show is too much.
We’ve all heard about the proposed trades involving the Nets and Knicks. Then the Lakers allegedly became interested and Melodrama peaked. Maybe L.A.’s embarrassing loss to the lowly Cavaliers and current three game losing skid makes them a potential suitor now, especially since Anthony will be in the All-Star Game in L.A. this weekend, but I’m not interested.
Don’t get me wrong, I recognize how monumental a trade this would be. I understand that Anthony is one of the top five megastar in the Association. Would it be great for the league to have the Brooklyn-born Anthony return to New York and play alongside Stoudemire? Absolutely, but I’ll be excited when I see Anthony in a Knicks uniform and not a moment sooner.
Kobe and ‘Melo teammates? That would certainly be something to watch and I will watch if and when that happens.
The All-Star Weekend will surely be a circus of ‘Melo trade talks, but it offers me the chance to step away from the NBA and all of its Melodrama, with the exception of watching the highlights of Blake Griffin’s dunk contest of course.
So who’s to blame for all this ‘Melo madness? Anthony? The Nuggets? The media? The sports culture in America?
Is this a case of another egomaniac sports figure? Seemingly every year more players determine where they want to play. This is a by-product of free agency, but free agency is not entirely responsible.
Elite players brand themselves so well that their image and marketability becomes larger than the franchise they play for. Between the star power they’ve created, no trade clauses in their contracts and their salary totals, players have more leverage during negotiations than ever before. Unfortunately, this leads to situations like what’s happening with Anthony.
If I’m sick of the rumors and trade talks and Anthony certainly is as well.
“I try not to stress myself out about it,” Anthony said, referring to the rumors in a recent interview. And you’ve got to hand it to him, amidst all the speculation Anthony is filling it up on the court. He’s averaging 31.6 points per game in his last 10 games.
You can’t deny that Anthony is a tremendous player and, at age 26, is in the prime of his career or that him suiting up for the Knicks or Lakers would change the power structure in the NBA.
I’ve just had enough of the rumors and speculation. My only hope is that this can serve as a lesson to other players who are entering the final year of their contracts – please don’t say you’re unwilling to resign with your team before the season starts. Save yourself and all of us from the endless trade talks.
Is it February 24 yet?
Do you agree with Brad? Post your comments below.
Brad M. Thompson, a former college football player and coach, made his return to the Midwest in 2009 after fighting wildfires out West. He earned his master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and covers the Big Ten Conference and Chicago sports. Follow him on Twitter at @Brad_M_Thompson. Find more of Brad’s blogs here.