Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Anthony says he's staying put at Denver - for now

Anthony says he's staying put at Denver - for now

Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony (center) goes up for a dunk against the Orlando Magic during the second half of their NBA game on Tuesday in Denver. The Nuggets won 111-94.

DENVER, Colorado - Denver Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri put the kibosh on the latest rumors and reports that star forward Carmelo Anthony was headed to the New Jersey Nets.

"There's nothing going on. Nothing," Ujiri said as he walked out of the Pepsi Center with team president Josh Kroenke following Denver's impressive 111-94 win over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.

"I would think if 'Melo was getting traded, he'd know that. Right? He's earned that," Ujiri said as Kroenke nodded in agreement.

The first Anthony heard of the latest buzz of a big trade to the Big Apple was from reporters crowded around his locker and checking their smart phones after he scored 35 points in the win over the Magic.

"Who? I haven't heard that one. Am I? I don't know, dawg. This is new," Anthony responded when a reporter relayed a report that he would be headed to New Jersey on Wednesday.

"I haven't heard that. I'm officially saying I know nothing about it," Anthony added. "When I have some more information, you guys will know."

Asked if he expects to be at the Pepsi Center on Thursday night when Denver faces the Spurs, Anthony said: "I've got a game on Thursday night against San Antonio and that's what I'm focused on. All that other stuff, I'm not even paying attention to right now. I don't even know, you just caught me by surprise with that one."

A day earlier, Anthony denied an ESPN report that he had told the Nuggets he would only accept a trade to the New York Knicks.

Talk has been swirling around Anthony ever since last summer, when he declined to sign a three-year, $65 million contract extension with the Nuggets, whom he's led to the playoffs seven straight seasons since turning pro after winning the national title at Syracuse as a freshman in 2003.

Anthony was born in Brooklyn and married TV personality LaLa Vasquez in an elaborate New York City ceremony last summer.

Fueling the latest speculation was the three-team trade agreed to on Tuesday between New Jersey, Houston and the Los Angeles Lakers that netted the Nets two more first-round draft picks for potential use in a deal for Anthony.

"Oh, that's why y'all are asking," Anthony said.

Anthony says he's staying put at Denver - for now

Growing tired of the trade talk, Anthony told the scrum, "You want to ask me about Orlando?"

He said he banged his right thumb during the game, but "I'll be all right come Thursday". He added that he's healthy now that he sat out a few days with a sore knee and the flu.

Asked if he was sentimental at all if this was his last game in Denver, Anthony replied, "Are you sending me out?"

Just relaying the reports, he was told.

"I've been listening to reports all summer," Anthony retorted. "I ain't thinking about that. I'm here. You'll see me suited up on Thursday night."

In a Nuggets uniform?

"Of course," he said. "You'll see me here Thursday night, all right? Anything else?

"See you guys."

Magic star Dwight Howard said he would welcome Anthony to the Eastern Conference if that's what ends up happening.

"I haven't thought about that. I know he wants to go home. Whatever he does I'm happy for him, whatever decision he makes," Howard said.

(Associated Press)

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