You are hereUncertainty plagues Nuggets' pre-season
Uncertainty plagues Nuggets' pre-season
It's the dawn of a new year on the court for the Nuggets — and before the excitement even begins, the drama outside the game is in full arch.
Small forward Carmelo Anthony was the big story at the Nugget's Media Day preview Monday. Anthony showed up for the day's press briefings amid rumors he would be traded. He addressed the speculation vaguely, asserting his commitment to the team — at least for now.
"I'm here today. You know, whatever the future holds, it holds," he said. "I mean, right now, I'm leaving my options open."
Some players and coaches in the Nuggets' camp are worried that the rumors are distracting, and that having Anthony at practice — which begins today — could be a stumbling block for the team.
"There's a lot of hype going around, expecting him to leave , so it's kinda tough watching ESPN every day and just trying to see where everybody else is at, opposed to watching your own team," said J.R. Smith, shooting guard.
Smith and head coach George Karl touched on the contentions over a possible trade, but Karl also made mention of his recent battle with throat and neck cancer.
Karl said he experiences a dry mouth when talking for a long period of time and joked that it might mean less yelling at the team.
"They're probably excited about it," he said.
CU alum and Nugget's point guard Chauncey Billups also sat down in front of reporters on Monday - perhaps the only real certainty amidst a day of questions.
"Everybody knows I don't want to be a free agent. I want to be a Nugget," Billups said. "Until I have no more gas in the tank."
The Nuggets will play Portland at the Pepsi Center in their pre-season opener on October 3.