Carmelo Anthony Deal Off the Table, Nets Still Searching for Answer
By Joseph Natale
In a complete turn of events, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov yesterday announced on his flight to New Jersey that the organization would no longer be pursuing marquis forward Carmelo Anthony from the Nuggets. The deal is off the table and for the second time in one year, the Nets leave us hanging on a dream as they yet again fail in their pursuit of the next face of the team.
If there is one thing that Prokhorov knows though, it’s how to do business. In his many years spent heading one of the world’s largest nickel and palladium producers, the near 13 billion dollar man has learned a thing or two about making deals. In a press conference following his team's 103-95 win over the Utah Jazz, Prokhorov stated that "There comes a time when the price is simply too expensive. I am instructing our team to walk away from this deal”. The announcement not only came as a shock to all of us fans, who for the past couple weeks have been drooling over the very thought of #15 coming to Jersey, but even Nets GM Billy King was in a state of shock as he was forced to notify Nuggets personnel that the deal was off, following the press conference.
The GM did tell us though that he had been in the process of working a deal out with the Nuggets, assuming that Prokhorov would be able to convince Anthony to sign a three year, $65 million extension. However, in all fairness to Prokhorov, King did admit that he never had any clear evidence that all of this would fall into place, he only had “signs and indications,” as he put it.
With nothing to be certain of, us Nets faithful can only hope that Carmelo doesn’t sign with cross river rival New York Knicks, his preferred destination. And left with only room to speculate, it is safe for us to assume that Prokhorov decided to call the deal off to avoid his second to last place team and further embarrassment by Anthony publicly rejecting the deal. All else aside, this was a smart move by the owner, as painful as it is to say, and went ways in showing his true instincts as an experienced businessman. Ultimately though, this lack of certainty as well as understanding of potential rejection, sums up the entire saga surrounding the Russian owner and Carmelo Anthony. In accordance with statements made by Nets GM Billy King, Prokhorov added “All of the information was really mixed. There was never any direct information.” He also stated that, contrary to a report from earlier this week, the owner “Never met with Carmelo Anthony to discuss the deal.”
The question now remains, where do we go from here? Prokhorov had said that going into this season he had 4 plans to bring players to New Jersey. Plan A was to bring Lebron James in the summer, Plan B was to bring Carmelo Anthony. Now that they have both resulted in failure, we can only hope that Plans C and D will bring some change to this disheartened franchise. Jody Genessy of Deseret News reported yesterday that one of these potential plans may be centered around bringing Andrei Kirilenko to New Jersey. Kirilenko, a Russian, has reported ties to the Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. King provided some relief at the end of the press conference though, assuring us that the Nets “will be bringing in a guy who will help us win.” He urges fans to have patience. But when your team has only 11 wins on the season, patience is hard to find. <!-- google_ad_section_end -->