NEW YORK (AP) — Carmelo Anthony won’t be leaving the Denver Nuggets anytime soon.
After all, the Miami Heat are coming to town Thursday night and he doesn’t want to miss a showdown with LeBron James & Co.
“I’ll be here playing against Miami,” Anthony said. “Guarantee you that.”
Anthony, the subject of trade talks all season, was greeted early on Tuesday by the crowd in Denver with a smattering of boos but quickly reversed the mood with his hustle and hanging jumpers.
He understands the crowd’s pendulum of emotions, not knowing how to feel about him even after he led the team to the playoffs in each of his first seven seasons. He’s not taking it personally.
“People have their right to boo, people have their right to cheer,” said Anthony, who added 10 rebounds. “It doesn’t bother me as long as I go out there and continue being the player that I am, doing what I do. The boos, I don’t worry about that.”
Denver native Chauncey Billups has been dragged into the most recent trade speculation, a proposed three-team deal involving Detroit and New Jersey and at least 13 players.
For that, Anthony said he felt remorseful since he knows how beloved Billups is in the Mile High City. The deal has picked up steam in recent days, but the chatter was quiet Tuesday.
Anthony has been the subject of trade talks since he hasn’t signed the Nuggets’ three-year, $65 million extension they offered last summer.
The most recent deal has Billups and former Pistons teammate Richard Hamilton reuniting in New Jersey along with Anthony. The Nets would send rookie power forward Derrick Favors, point guard Devin Harris and others to Denver in exchange for Anthony, Billups, Hamilton, Shelden Williams and Terrico White, who is injured.
Detroit would receive veteran Troy Murphy and center Johan Petro. Murphy has a nearly $12 million contract that will expire after this season.
However, it hinges in part on whether Anthony will sign his extension so the Nets can have him as their cornerstone for years to come. Anthony has given no indication if he would agree to sign the extension and go to the Nets.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.