Now that Carmelo Anthony has been traded to the New York Knicks, there are plenty of lessons to be learned over this seven-month ordeal. Some are funny, some are serious and some aren't known yet.
5. The Subjunctive Mode/Mood Rears Its Head
When Mikhail Prokhorov announced on Jan. 20 that he was ending his New Jersey Nets' involvement in a trade for Carmelo Anthony, towards the end of the press conference the Russian owner was asked to respond to the following question: "What if Denver comes back and says we'll take, you know, this offer?"
Prokhorov proclaims, "I don't think in the subjunctive mood (possibly mode)." That seems to have thrown a reporter out of the loop, who then asks Prokhorov to unequivocally answer whether the Nets would talk if the Nuggets called again. Prokhorov's answer: "I think I was absolutely clear on this matter. Here's the video so you can get the complete Russian accent:
That little statement probably got hardcore English majors excited, and your elementary school language arts teacher also probably had a little smirk, all the while thinking, "Prokhorov knows the English language than all the students I've taught over the year."
What is the subjunctive mode? Basically, it's two conditions that are not true at the moment, but being posed as if they are.
Established "fact": The Nets will not discuss a trade with the Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony any longer.
Condition: Denver calls again.
Condition: Nets talk.
Subjunctive mode: If Denver calls again, would the Nets pick up the line?
So, case closed. Prokhorov does not think like that. But did anyone remind him of that during the week leading up to the All-Star Game? Ultimately, the Nets didn't get 'Melo, but they did go to the subjunctive in the final pursuit.
4. Carmelo Anthony Did Not Want To Go New Jersey
In fact, no one wants to go to New Jersey. It's the land of some show that takes place on the shore there. Well, not recently and not in future editions or something. I really don't know much about the show, but it sure does seem that it is just as pointless as all the drama surrounding the 'Melo trade.
Barry Melrose once criticized the area around the Prudential Center, where the Nets play their home games--for now. But the Nets will move to Brooklyn in the 2012 season. Not even a move to one of the five New York boroughs could change 'Melo's mind. And Jay-Z as one of your team's owners? Yeah, still not happening.
Once you go Jersey, you're always Jersey wherever you go.
3. If You Thought This Was Bad Wait Until There's An NBA Lockout
Mike Prada writes over at SBNation.com that this was just a preview of what to expect during the coming labor strife in the league. Instead of one player making a demand, it will be all of the players and all of the owners sniping at each other to make changes to the system. The owners want to significantly reduce salaries while the players will adamantly reject any such offer.
Just imagine what happens if a lockout goes on for months and then the entire season is canceled. . .
2. NBA Players Have Too Much Power
This is a corollary to No. 3, because it has placed the league in the position it finds itself in.
Carmelo Anthony played with everyone like marionettes. He controlled which team he would go to. He got the Nuggets to force the Knicks into a trade since New York was the only team he wanted to land in order to advance his career.
In the end, the Nuggets took a lesser package than they could have received for 'Melo. Meanwhile the Knicks gave up a number of starting-quality players to get back an All-Star-level player. In the short term, the Knicks may not gain that much from the trade, and in the long run? That's anybody's guess.
1. The Carmelo Anthony Trade Did Not Happen
What? Yes, Carmelo Anthony will wear a Knicks jersey from now, but the entire thing didn't take place--not in the normal sense. Think about everything that went on during the seven months of the Carmelo Anthony trade saga. The media (and fine, include us here at SB Nation Denver in there as well) kept reporting information ad nauseum that was just a basic regurgitation. It's the Nets this time. No, wait, it's the Knicks. Oh, wait, here are a couple of teams that want to rent 'Melo and don't need an extension. Ah, never mind. OK, back to the Nets and Knicks. Nah, just the Knicks because we know 'Melo doesn't want to go Jersey (see No. 4)
Or maybe it would be easier to just say that it took seven months for the preordained to happen and that we lapped up every bit of news as if it really was new.
It didn't happen so much as it played us.