Tuesday, February 22, 2011
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Disappointment pervades the Nets fan base as Carmelo Anthony was packaged in an overnight delivery and onto the doorstep of Madison Square Garden. The New York Knicks, clearly the preferred destination of Mr. Anthony, have pulled the trigger on the deal effectively ending an agonizingly lengthy Melo-Drama. Meanwhile, across the Hudson in Newark, the Nets front office is chock-full of consternation as they were actively pursuing Carmelo Anthony since NBA training camp commenced in August. Neither an impending move to his native city Brooklyn, nor the deep pockets of Russian Owner Mikhail Prokhorov allured Anthony into signing an extension to become the face of the Nets franchise.
New Jersey is accustomed to being snubbed by all-star talent. During the offseason, none of the top flight 2010 free agent class elected to sign with the Nets. The team was fresh off a twelve win season along with a two year interim move to Newark which scared off the likes of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Amare’ Stoudemire, and Carlos Boozer among others. New Jersey has hardly beguiled NBA superstars as they have been labeled “the NBA’s ugly stepsister” and recommended tactfully to contract by none other than the “thoughtful” Lebron James.
The Nets will move forward with their current roster while continuing to explore trades involving point guard Devin Harris, power forward Derrick Favors, and/or unloading power forward Troy Murphy. Although Mikhail Prokhorov’s tenure with the Nets has been met with discontent, the Russian oligarch is unwavering in his intention to make Nets basketball relevant once again. New Jersey will need to climb out of the shadow of the reveled New York Knicks, who have pieced together two vital pieces to what could ultimately evolve into a championship contender. The Nets are still searching for a superstar to embrace the role as the cornerstone of their franchise, and will need that centerpiece soon if they ever hope to challenge the Knicks for supremacy in the Metro area.
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