'I gotta live with it'
Dec. 19: The Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith talk about moving on after the big brawl Saturday.
DENVER - Carmelo Anthony won’t appeal his 15-game suspension for his role in the New York Knicks brawl last weekend, according to USA Today and ESPN.com reports.
“It is Melo’s desire to focus on the issue at hand, not be a distraction to his team and focus on coming back as the best teammate he can be,” Bill Duffy, CEO of BDA Sports, the agency that represents Anthony, told USA Today in Thursday’s editions. “He’s accepting full responsibility. That’s a mature response.”
Duffy and Anthony’s agent, Calvin Andrews, didn’t return calls from The Associated Press on Thursday.
Union director Billy Hunter, who could not confirm Anthony’s decision not to appeal, told the AP he spoke with Anthony on Wednesday night.
“He wanted to go (with the case), but at the same time he talked about trying to put this thing behind him,” Hunter said. “What he was saying was that he was trying to resurrect his image, that all those things he had put in place over the summer and the $1.5 million contribution to the rec center in Baltimore and the $3 million to Syracuse University for their athletic program. He has just done a litany of other things that were intended to enhance his image, and then he said it was an aberrant instance where he did something kind of impetuously, he got involved in this altercation and his image suffered a blow.
“He’s trying to come out from under that. So his concern is whether the appeal and associated media interest would further damage him as opposed to him just accepting the penalty imposed by the commissioner, just putting it behind him.”
Anthony was scheduled to return to the Nuggets lineup Jan. 20 at Houston. But a blizzard that postponed Denver’s Wednesday game with Phoenix, might push back Anthony’s return to a Jan. 22 home game against Memphis.
As of Thursday afternoon, the league had yet to receive a letter of appeal from J.R. Smith, who’s serving a 10-game suspension.
When Anthony returns, he’ll be united with a new teammate — Allen Iverson, who was acquired by Denver for Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two 2007 first-round picks on Tuesday. The Nuggets also received Ivan McFarlin.
The Nuggets, however, still are looking for a way to get Iverson to town. The Denver airport won’t reopen until noon Friday. The Nuggets host Sacramento that evening.
“When will he get here? We’ve got to ask the weatherman,” said Mark Warkentien, Denver’s vice president of basketball operations.
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