Look, I've never been a big fan of Carmelo Anthony. When talking heads on TV said every year that he should make the all-star team, I've always pointed to the fact that there are significantly better forwards in the West (which is obviously loaded) and that Carmelo's rebounding and assist numbers are pathetic for someone his size who has the ball that much. (In the interests of fairness, his assist numbers are up this season, as is his shooting percentage, but 5.6 rebounds a game, 15th among small forwards, remains anemic for a guy that big.)
More importantly, he's simply too immature to be one of the three faces of the league. Name a single negative story about DWade or LeBron. You can't. But with Carmelo, there's pot in his backpack (it was my friend's pot) or there's pot in his car (it was my friend's pot) or he's making a gang-sponsored video. You know, even if none of that pot was his, it seems to me he needs a new circle of friends at this point in his life. On the court, I get to see him against the Clippers mostly, and he probably has not been at his best. Something about the way the Clippers defend him (QRoss in particular) gets under Melo's skin, and I've seen him draw 5 T's and 2 ejections in their last 8 meetings, and the ejections could have cost the Nuggets two close games. Again, these are not things that happen to DWade and LeBron, and forget about the old-school guys - Magic, Michael and Larry were intense competitors, but they NEVER did anything stupid that hurt their team.
And now this.
15 games is harsh. But what can you compare it to? I mean, reading the accounts I seem to be the only one who feels this way, but I agree with the Commissioner that Melo's actions were far worse than anyone else's and deserved the harshest penalty. (How harsh is another story.)
The fight was OVER! The other players on the court were milling around, waiting for Dick Bavetta to sort things out, kick some guys out, put someone on the line. It was OVER! At that point Carmelo is a bystander, and would not have gotten so much as a fine. So what does he do? He punches Collins and RUNS AWAY! I might have suspended him 5 for the punch, and 10 for running.
Here in ClipsNation of course, we wonder what this situation does to Denver's pursuit of the Answer. Without Melo for 15 games and JR Smith for 10, the Nuggets are sorely in need of some scoring 'punch.' (Get it? I'm here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitresses). Does this mean they'd be willing to part with some pieces they would not have let go before?
On the other hand, does George Karl really want to add AI's reputation to a team that just participated in the second worst brawl in recent memory? Furthermore, addimg AI when they need him (NOW), means playing one style of basketball for the next 15 games, and then switching when Melo comes back. It would entail two separate adjustment periods, would accentuate the 'whose team is this?' question that would have been there at any time, and might not help that much in the standings since it can be difficult to win during these adjustments (just ask the Suns, who started 1-5 despite a massively talented roster). And finally, who are they going to give up? They'd be giving up multiple bodies to bring AI in. With 2 guys suspended, unless they throw JR into the deal (which they've been reluctant to do up to now), they'd be looking at suiting up 8, suplemented with some guys from the D-League. Maybe it makes sense, but I'm not sure it does.