The latest word from ESPN’s Ric Bucher is that Carmelo Anthony won’t stay with the Nuggets much longer. That alone is news, but what we like best is that a few awkward moments at Anthony’s now-famous wedding last month might be what tipped everyone off.
Bucher, citing “league sources,” Anthony will son “make it real clear” to the Nuggets “that he’s not coming back.” And apparently, owner Stan Kroenke became resigned to this once Chris Paul started (jokingly?) trying to form a superteam with the Knicks:
A series of toasts at the wedding reception, initiated by New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul, suggested Anthony leave Denver for the New York Knicks. Paul suggested it playfully, one source said, but subsequent guests — including Knicks power forward Amare Stoudemire and Anthony’s brother, Robert — made the point more forcefully.
Then Kroenke stood up to give a toast and the room was filled with an awkward silence, one wedding guest said. Kroenke tried to make light of the situation by suggesting Paul could come to Denver but that elicited no response.
Unless you’re a Nuggets fan, it’s hard not be amused by the idea that Anthony’s chances of remaining in Denver died because Kroenke’s joke bombed. It seems too flimsy a reason for such a big decision, but Bucher’s report also has this:
While Anthony stood and applauded Kroenke when he was recognized, he apparently did nothing to discourage or dismiss the suggestions that he should leave the Nuggets.
“There were other people saying, ‘We’re going to get you guys together,’ but it doesn’t become a runaway train if Melo says something,” said one source. “Maybe he didn’t perpetuate it, but tell people to stop or say, ‘Stan, I’m sorry.’ He didn’t do any of that.”
While also true, this also doesn’t seem like quite enough to say anything definitive about Anthony’s future. If he made a bold proclamation about Denver, he might ruin some of the leverage he has going into the last year of his contract – we can’t really blame him for staying quiet.
We wouldn’t be surprised if Anthony isn’t with the Nuggets much longer, and after this summer’s Big Three, we don’t doubt that Stoudemire, Anthony and Paul have some interest in forming their own coalition. But the details that came out today are more enjoyable (even if they made us feel a little bad for Kroenke and his dud of a joke) than informative.