Carmelo Anthony (above).

So Carmelo Anthony won’t sign a $ 65 M extension to play in Denver with Chauncey Billups, Nene, and J.R. Smith, so why would he ever sign that extension to go to New Jersey, which, last we looked is still Newark and not Brooklyn, and was the worst NBA team last year in a decade?

We said as much last week when the news of Anthony to the Nets was squashed, but apparently God himself–Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News–knew better.  Or so he thought, and erroniously reported.

“(Anthony) might have preferred going to the Knicks,” one NBA executive said Tuesday, “but he was prepared to sign an extension with the Nets. And the Knicks don’t have enough to offer the Nuggets.”

Interesting, considering nowhere else was this reported.  I dare say that Lupica not only had his facts wrong, but that he had no facts whatsoever.  I think what “one NBA executive said Tuesday” is a complete fabrication by a lazy reporter.

“He was on board,” another executive involved in the deal said over the weekend. “He wants out.”

Another executive right above claiming, as reported by Lupica, that Anthony was “on board.”  Only ‘Melo, the man himself, dispelled all of these unnamed names and unsubstantiated claims, couched in Lupica’s pained, tortorous prose, rendering the Daily News’ big shot’s article completely useless.  Anthony was asked this week if he would have actually accepted a deal to Newark.

Most thought if Denver was willing to go through with the four-team trade last week that would have sent Anthony to New Jersey, the superstar would have signed a contract extension with the Nets.

“I never said I want to play for the Nets,” Anthony told the Denver Post after he was asked why he would be interested in playing for a team that won 12 games last year.

Is there anyone else who can’t stomach Mike Lupica by now?  The political expert, sports expert, junk fiction/newspaper hack?  Clearly Lupica has an axe to grind with the Knicks, whom he used as a prop for his piece, suggesting the Nets are even in the ball game as a legitimate rival to the Knicks–in any way.  Take a look at the opening of his piece:

This would have been a move that made Newark seem closer to New York City than it ever had before. This is a move that would have scared the Knicks to death, showed them what the future is going to be like with this big rich Russian, Prokhorov, owning the team and the team on its way to Brooklyn. This would have been one of the great sports trades any of our teams has made lately, and the biggest thing to happen to the Jersey Nets since Rod Thorn got Jason Kidd and put them in the NBA Finals.

Lupica goes on to suggest that this move, which never happened because Anthony would never sign the extension, would have made the Knicks “even more irrelevant.”  Listen up, Mike.  The Nets had more cap space than the Knicks this summer, couldn’t attract a fly, and so the “big” splash they made was bringing in…Troy Murphy.  Nice addition for a 12 win team?

I think not.  The Nets struck out with all the same big names as the Knicks, struck out with Amar’e Stoudemire, who is thrilled to call the garden his home, and couldn’t even manage to land David Lee, Knicks’ sloppy seconds who, admittedly, was desperate to stay in the area.  Staying in the area and playing in Newark are two very different things, however.

The Knicks also landed Raymond Felton, who was the best free agent point guard in the class.  The Nets?  They couldn’t even land John Wall, couldn’t even snag the top pick with an all-time NBA worst team.  And we loved every second of it.  Lupica likes to get all fancy with his words, which have once again belabored a moot point.  Anthony wants no part of New Jersey.

How could we know that from here, while Lupica doesn’t?  Obviously neither of us have Carmelo’s cell phone number, but I wouldn’t be expected to anyway.  And by the way, Mike?  This would have been the biggest thing to happen to the Nets ever.  Not since Jason Kidd came and got dusted in two of the least watched NBA finals ever.  Nobody cares about the Nets.  One of “our” teams?

Hardly.  And not one of Carmelo Anthony’s teams either.  Sorry Mike.

Crack (,