- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
Just when you thought the Melo Drama had left the Garden State for good, it's coming back.
Denver Nuggets superstar Carmelo Anthony will be in New Jersey to play the Nets on Monday night for the first time since owner Mikhail Prokhorov nixed a potential blockbuster deal that would've brought Anthony to New Jersey.
After going just 3 for 12 for 12 points against the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday, Anthony said he's ready to get to New Jersey.
"I really don't know what to expect," he said. "I know me, personally, I'm just looking forward to going there and getting a win."
Anthony said he has not ruled out any options for his future.
"As of right now, I don't think the Nets will be calling," he said, laughing.
Nuggets coach George Karl says he doesn't know how the fans will react to Anthony when he hits the court. Karl, speaking before Sunday's game, expects a playoff atmosphere for Anthony's arrival.
"I expect it to be a pregame intensity to the game, and then I'm sure there will be some antics during the game that will have to be understood and handled," Karl said. "I would say for most of the time, those things usually motivate my team to play more focused and serious. If we have to play an intense playoff-type style game against a team like New Jersey, I think we're capable of doing that."
Anthony has been the subject of trade talk since refusing to
sign a three-year, $65 million extension last summer. Two potential
blockbuster trades with the New Jersey Nets have fallen apart.
Prohkorov cancelled a meeting on Jan. 19, effectively killing the three-team, multiplayer trade that would've sent Anthony to New Jersey in exchange for a package of players an first-round draft picks. Prokhorov tired of the talks, saying he was unhappy with how it played out in public, that it took too long, got too expensive and cost his team games.
The New York Knicks are expected to make a run at Anthony, who will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The trading deadline is Feb. 24.
Still, Anthony, who entered Sunday averaging 23.9 points and 8.0 rebounds per game for the Nuggets (28-18) wouldn't disclose what the future holds for him.
Karl says he's proud of the way the Nuggets have handled the
Anthony trade circus.
"We laugh about it, we joke about it," Karl said. "In
general, it has not had a big effect on our basketball."
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
10hMarc Stein and Mike Mazzeo
4dIan O'Connor, ESPN Senior Writer