More Mixed Signals From ‘Melo

NEWARK – Mikhail Prokhorov seemingly pulled the New Jersey Nets out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes with his press conference 12 days ago, and Nets coach Avery Johnson insists that rumors and speculation are in the team’s rear view mirror. But there were signs at the Prudential Center on Monday that the Nets still want to woo ‘Melo to New Jersey and, eventually, Brooklyn.

And by “signs,” I really mean signs … literally.

On either end of the hallway that leads to the Prudential Center locker rooms, the Nets placed four large signs promoting the Barclays Center. Two were computer renderings of what the arena would look like, one was a recent photo of the arena construction in progress, and the fourth read “Opening in Brooklyn 2012.”

With the signs on either end of the hall and the Denver Nuggets’ locker room in between, Anthony would walk by them a total of eight times during his only visit to Newark this season.

“That was interesting,” Anthony said of the signs after his Nuggets ended their five-game road trip with a 115-99 loss to the Nets.

And no, the signs were not there for any of the Nets’ previous 22 home games.

Anthony danced with the New York media for a little less than 10 minutes before heading back to Denver. And while, at this point, nothing he says should be taken as any absolute indication of anything, his answers to today’s probing questions could arguably provide hope for fans of the Nuggets, Nets and Knicks, depending which way you interpret them.

First, some hope for fans of the Knicks, who’s best hope to land Anthony is to have him play out the season in Denver, opt out of the final year of his contract, and become a free agent this summer.

“The CBA is in the back of my mind, but as far as being afraid to play this out, I’m not. If that’s what it’s going to take, then so be it. I’m with that.”

He’s said previously that signing an extension that would guarantee him $65 million for the three seasons beyond 2011-12 was his priority, but tonight, he seemed to take that back.

“If I sit here and tell you I’m willing to lose $15-20 million, then I’ll be lying to you. But at the same time, this has never been about the money. In my career so far, I think I’ve made enough money. Now I can focus on just trying to win a championship. That’s the only thing that’s on my plate and on my mind right now.”

Nuggets fans will be happy to know that Anthony’s not ruling out the possibility of staying in Denver. When asked about winning a championship “at home” (meaning Brooklyn in the reporter’s mind), Anthony was quick to say that Denver’s his home too.

“I’ve been there eight years. I didn’t even spend eight years in Baltimore.

“I love where I’m at right now in Denver. We’re playing well, but at the end of the day this is a business. The Denver Nuggets have to be cautious. It’s a business. I have to look at it as a business and we just go from there. Whether we make a business decision together and that’s for me to stay in Denver or they say the business decision is to trade you somewhere else, then you’ve got to deal with that.”

Finally, for fans of the Nets, Anthony disputed any reports that said he definitely wouldn’t sign an extension with New Jersey.

“I really don’t know where that came from as far as if I was to come here, that the extension wasn’t going to get signed. I really don’t know who started that. There’s a lot of things that’s being said out there that I don’t know where it came from. Sources, I guess.”

But of course, he made no commitment to definitely signing such an extension should the Nuggets trade him to the Nets. He just said that he was ready to meet with Prokhorov.

“I would have took that meeting. That meeting was going to take place. I can agree to that. But as far as anything else, I really can’t speak on it.”

***

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.

22 Comments

  1. [...] At 17-41 after Friday’s loss in San Antonio and with a roster lacking much starting-quality talent, the Nets certainly have some work to do to convince Williams that Brooklyn is the place to be come 2012. But despite what we’ve seen in Cleveland, Denver and Toronto over the last year, it’s obviously easier to convince the guy you already have (and are allowed to talk to whenever you want) than the guy who’s on the outside and only sees the standings and a few marketing boards in the hallway. [...]

  2. RenXell says:

    For me, it would be better if you go to knicks.. If you really want to win a championship, I think going to knicks is one of the best decision. Playing Amare stoudomire and company. It has a chance, fo nets, it would take a few more years to become competitive team. That’s for my opinion. Just think about it. Thanks!

  3. lbj6 says:

    quit the talk about melo, he not the best! It’s all about the king6James and the heat

  4. the stuff says:

    come to miami! So that heat could have more haters?

  5. the stuff says:

    come to miami! so that heat could have more haters.

  6. Jeff says:

    Come on now everyone knows mello is going to be a knick next year. Unless he doesn’t want to win knicks are his best bet, amare and mello with that supporting cast can win a title and soon. i love the celtics but their years are numbered.

  7. Didi says:

    Melo to the bulls!!!
    3 team deal between Bulls – Nuggets – Rockets :)

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4b7qese

  8. Martz20 says:

    MELO i think you should go to lakers. somehow in 2012 the lakers might bring dwight howard to the lakers. that would fit you. and a chance of winning back to back titles. hope the lakers would get you now.. they need you to defend their championship. it will be your first ring man…

    • Heat says:

      Dwight is not going to the Lakers anytime soon and neither is Melo. The Lakers have no salary cap space to sign Dwight and Melo and STILL HAVE Kobe, Pau, Fisher, Odom, Bynum, Artest, etc. So that makes no sense. Do your research before you post.

  9. Keon says:

    Melo should try to team up with Dwight Howard next year..Either talk him into coming to Denver with him and Chauncey. They would have a chance at beating the Lakers and defeating Miami/Boston for the title..

    • NBAest says:

      CarMelo Anthony stays in Denver and the Nuggets trade Chauncey Billuyps and J.R. Smith for Chris Paul and Nene and Al Harrington for Dwight Howard… I smell CHAMPIONSHIP.

  10. kevin says:

    much better if carmelo will join together with james.,wade.,and bosh..! thats awesome..

  11. KB24 says:

    they call him yellow melo… come to LA

  12. [...] More Mixed Signals From 'Melo « NBA.com | Hang Time Blog [...]

  13. Carmelo come to the Lakers says:

    you gotta

  14. The Point Forward » Posts Court Vision: The latest around the league « says:

    [...] he contradicted himself for approximately the 758th time during all of this, saying that he might be willing to play out this season and become a free agent rather than signing a $65 million extension before a new collective bargaining agreement might [...]

  15. Easton says:

    Just come to the Warriors or get out of the West!

  16. [...] a Nets initial 22 home games that design was not there, John Schuhmann points out during NBA.com. Magically a cinema seem along a corridor to a justice a same night Anthony and a Nuggets seem in [...]

  17. [...] the Nets first 22 home games that artwork was not there, John Schuhmann points out at NBA.com. Magically the pictures appear along the hallway to the court the same night Anthony and the [...]

  18. Zzanzabar says:

    As the deadline grows nearer, Denver (if they really want something for Melo) will begin to listen to teams where Carmelo will be willing to sign a long term deal. Right now he will walk if Denver cannot sign a high profile, quality player like CP3 for next year. New York could possibly ‘bet the house’ with the only untouchable being Amare. Right now it seems obvious that Melo is just not interested in New Jersey as a place to play, so why keep beating this poor dead horse.

  19. Realist says:

    Go to Jersey Carmelo, would be a great story. This coming from a Heat fan too, would love to see Nets vs Heat for a few straight years in the conference finals once the Nets bulk up their roster. Here’s hoping.