The same fans who reigned boos down on Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony after Wednesday's victory will be cheering for him to reign down shots on the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night.
That is the world Melo lives in these days. Fans expect a superstar on the court, and a dedicated employee off it. Truth of the matter is that Melo is a businessman and family man, so if he feels that his business and family interests are best served in another city, then so be it. As long as he keeps performing at a high level - and Wednesday's 35 points are indicative of that - and fulfills his contract, then he is doing what he is employed to do. Fans shouldn't complain.
Where there is valid gripe is that Melo's actions surrounding his trade have been detrimental to the Nuggets. When a superstar of his caliber states, whether publicly or not, that he is only interested in going to one team, the front office of his current team has their hands tied.
What team in their right mind would give market value for a guy who is assured to bolt after the season? Really only one looking for a "Rent A Player" who thinks that this is the only year that they can win a championship, so they go for it all now, sacrificing their next five years in return.
Other than that somewhat unlikely scenario, every other team in the league knows where Melo will suit up next season and is only willing to give pennies on the dollar for a half year of service.
And that other team, presumably the New York Knicks? Well, why should they give the farm away for a player they are almost assuredly going to be able to sign in the offseason? They don't have the cow yet, but rest assured they have milk bottles already lined up.
So now Josh Kroenke and Masai Ujiri are stuck. They can't trade Melo away for market value, because no team will take him for that. They can't trade him to the Knicks, because there is no need for them to take any action now, when it's as good as a sure thing in the summer.
So what are their options? The way I see it they have two paths they can go down.
Path One - Trade for Less
The Nuggets first option is to move Melo and scrape whatever they can. Basically see what the market can handle, suck in pride and deal him before the deadline. They won't get anywhere near what they should, but, hey, they will get something.
Path Two - Go For Broke
Melo took the Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals two years ago, why not beef this team up and make a run for a title this season? Denver is not in any shape to win an NBA crown with what they have right now, but if they added several pieces, who knows. Teams are already calling about Melo, and when they do, see what else is around.
The downside to Path One is that they get hosed. They sell the million dollar house for one hundred grand. People around the league avoid eye contact, knowing how bad they got handled.
The downside to Path Two is this season's Cleveland Cavaliers.
What is the right answer? Honestly I'm asking this question six months too late. Melo and the Nuggets have already dug their grave, now it's just a matter of how cold the body will be when it gets lowered into it.
So when Melo suits up against the Lakers on Friday night feel free to reign boos on the player. It's your right. And truthfully, Melo brought it upon himself.