Anthony says he wasn't distracted in Nuggets loss

Originally Published: December 3, 2004
Associated Press

DENVER -- Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony conceded that being in a homemade DVD with people talking about drugs and guns wasn't the best choice, but doesn't think it has hampered his focus.

Carmelo Anthony

"The video happened right after the Olympics when I was home," Anthony said Friday. "It's not like I'm doing something bad right now. I've been trying to bust my [expletive] to do things right and make everyone happy around here."

The DVD, shown by TV stations in Denver and Anthony's hometown of Baltimore, shows the forward with a man who warns that people who tip police about drug deals "get a hole in their head."

It was the latest in a series of off-the-court distractions for Anthony, who got into a bar fight in New York in the offseason and was caught at the Denver airport with marijuana in his backpack. He was not charged in either case.

"Everything just happened back to back to back to back," Anthony said.

He said he was under the impression the video was just a local thing with friends, "but some way, somehow, because I was on there, it got national."

He said he didn't think it was wrong to appear on such a DVD.

"You watch music videos all day and see that," Anthony said. "You could say the same thing if I was in a music video. I'm not really concerned about it. ... I don't hang with drug dealers. I surround myself with good people."

Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik said he hasn't seen the DVD and didn't want to comment on it, or Anthony's situation.

Speaking in general terms, though, the coach said, "We have an obligation being in the public eye to be professional, to be responsible in all that we say and do."

Earlier this week, Anthony distributed presents to underprivileged children and also was at an event to promote his new children's' book. But the community work has been overshadowed by negative news, which started at the Olympics, when coach Larry Brown called him lazy and selfish.

Anthony scored 14 points Thursday in Denver's 92-73 loss to Cleveland. He spent much of the second half sulking on the sideline, refusing to join team huddles and standing up at the end of the bench watching play.

"Anyone in my position would have been frustrated," he said. "It was everything going on. Bad timing."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press