It was one awkward media day for Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets, with all involved doing their best to pretend the trade winds that continue to blow at gale force are merely a gentle breeze.
Behind the scenes, though, NBA heavyweights are reportedly upset at Nuggets execs for not settling on a swap, thereby avoiding yesterday's discomfort.
That's the word from the New York Post's Fred Kerber, author of the paper's New Jersey Nets blog, who writes:
With anger and frustration gripping NBA team executives, the elaborate four-team trade that would send Nuggets superstar Carmelo Anthony to the Nets could be headed for a revamping, if not a total overhaul, with new teams involved.
Much of the irritation, if not all, is aimed at Denver's management. Executives from other teams -- some directly involved in the swap, others not -- feel the Nuggets brass is to blame for the public nature of the proposed deal, as well as the failure to get it done.
Adds one unnamed source from an involved team: "They [Nuggets brass] have played teams against each other. Things were in place. Now you have 10 players standing around on media day answering questions about their futures."
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Gee, I wonder what involved team this guy works for?
Denver fans likely have a different perspective about these shenanigans. The Nuggets will be losing their superstar -- a player who may not have lifted the squad to the championship level, but one who singlehandedly ended years of franchise mediocrity. Everyone knows the Nugs won't get equal value in exchange. But the closer they can get, the more likely it is that Denver will be able to avoid another horrific downturn.
If that means hyping up a bidding war and then waiting to get the best offer, so be it. Players potentially in the running for a swap -- including everyone from Derrick Favors and Andrei Kirilenko to Stephen Curry and Joakim Noah -- can suck it up and deal with it for a little longer.
After all, the future of the Nuggets is at stake.