Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Carmelo Anthony Will Change The NBA Forever

It's not unusual for an NBA player to demand a trade. Charles Barkley, Tracy McGrady, and Allen Iverson have all asked for a change of scenery at some point in their careers, but Carmelo Anthony's situation is truly unique. Since the summer it has been well documented that Carmelo Anthony would not play for the Denver Nuggets after the 2011 season and true to his word he has not signed the 3 year $65,000,000 contract extension that is currently on the table. The Nuggets organization understands that they must trade Anthony or lose him for no compensation once the free agency period begins. The issue is not if or why the Nuggets must trade their most prized asset, but rather how the deal must be structured.

Carmelo has made it perfectly clear that his desire is to play in New York and preferably for the Knicks. By forcing the Nuggets to negotiate with only 2 teams it renders them virtually powerless. They have no leverage and are completely at the mercy of what Carmelo wants to do. There have been various trade scenarios that include 3,4, and even 5 team deals, but until Carmelo agrees to sign off on the extension nothing can get done.

This sets a dangerous precedence for the NBA. Not only is a top 10 talent demanding a trade, he is dictating where he will go. Billionaires don't like to be bullied and rest assured this kind of leverage will be addressed in the next collective bargaining agreement. If the players can mandate when and where they will be traded chaos will ensue. This situation is not like Lebron James taking his talents to South Beach or Carlos Boozer joining the Bulls. Carmelo Anthony is under contract and like Kanye West says "no one man should have all that power."

Let us not forget that the NBA (and all major team sports for that matter) is a chess match played by the super rich. If the pieces get to move around the board at their discretion it changes the rules of the game. Owners are not willing to relinquish that kind of control and if the players think they run the asylum because of their immense talent they are in for a rude awakening. This kind of power struggle simply will not be tolerated. Owners need some sort of recourse that benefits them and includes more options. Disgruntled or not the trade me where I want when I want stance is not a viable solution for the future. Congratulations Carmelo, you will be the last NBA player to get his way on his own terms while under contract. the system will be forever different after this whole thing plays itself out.

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