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NBA COAST TO COAST

End is in sight for Nuggets, Carmelo Anthony

The Times' Mark Heisler goes coast to coast in the NBA.

January 08, 2011|By Mark Heisler
  • Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony is all smiles before the ball is inbounded against the Sacramento Kings in the third quarter at Arco Arena.
Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony is all smiles before the ball is inbounded… (Cary Edmondson / US Presswire )

The end is drawing near

So much for winning back Carmelo Anthony's heart....

At full strength at last with Kenyon Martin back, nine of 12 at home and two of the road games against the lowly Clippers and Kings, the Nuggets were finally set to make their push this month.

Unfortunately, with the Clippers and Kings bombing them back to back, it's time for Plan B, as in Back Up the Truck.

In the really bad news, not only is Melo outward-bound after spurning extension offers, Chauncey Billups, Nene, J.R. Smith and KMart, all on expiring deals, may be too.

Say goodnight to the Lakers of the Rockies.

They were fun while they lasted... both seasons.

Bright lights, which city?

Unfortunately, Anthony's wife, La La Vasquez, the former VH1 personality, wants a glamour destination, like New York.

That once included the Nets, bound for both Anthonys' native Brooklyn.

Unfortunately, that was set back to 2012 as the Nets dropped out of sight and off Melo's list.

Owner Mikhail Prokorhov wants a star so badly, he may trade for him anyway.

The Knicks, who offered Danilo Gallinari, are now offering ... nothing ... knowing they can just sign Anthony.

More likely, they'll keep both of their full slots for Dwight Howard and Chris Paul in 2012.

The Lakers and Clippers aren't interested, so there goes the other coast.

Denver's best shot is a realistic assessment of Carmelo's options ... remote as that may be.

Next conspiracy

Remember when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh said it would be neat to play together as Olympians in 2008?

It happened again!

Minnesota's Kevin Love told Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix that he, Derrick Rose and former UCLA teammate Russell Westbrook did it at last summer's World Championships in Turkey.

"It's fun to talk about," Love said. "When the time comes, we'll assess the situation and figure it out."

Not that Rose and Westbrook are expected to give one thought to leaving Chicago or Oklahoma City.

As for the always gracious Love, he says, "I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I couldn't see it last year."

Happily for the Timberwolves, he's there through 2013.

Unhappily, they're 24-94 with him.

Etc.

Washington Coach Flip Saunders, on what the selection of JaVale McGee, whom he keeps on a yo-yo, for the dunk contest might do for his confidence: "Nothing. Gerald Green won the dunk contest. Where's he at now?"... Green now plays in Russia but is way more confident.

I owe colleague Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer an apology for saying his paper "obligingly" reported Michael Jordan fired Larry Brown, after MJ announced Brown had resigned. Rick was doing his job, finding out what happened. The word I was looking for was "accordingly."

Why does Prokorhov need a star with Sasha Vujacic's fiancée, Maria Sharapova, and Kris Humphries' publicist alerting the press that he's an " NBA Star and philanthropist... [and] in some circles known as the boyfriend of Kim Kardashian."... With Anthony third in All-Star voting among Western forwards, the Denver Post's Benjamin Hockman notes if he's traded to the Nets or Knicks, his total would be good for fourth behind LeBron James, Kevin Garnett and Amare Stoudemire.

— Mark Heisler

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