SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Carmelo Anthony insists he’s not leaving Denver. At least not this week.
Anthony said following Sunday’s loss in San Antonio that he’ll be with the Nuggets back home Wednesday night against Oklahoma City, and remain in the lineup for at least two games after that, all the way through Denver’s game against Indiana on Jan. 23.
The All-Star also scoffed at what he called “false” reports of the Nuggets giving him permission to speak with the New Jersey Nets, where Anthony has been widely rumored to wind up for weeks amid intensifying trade talks.
“I don’t want to talk to nobody,” Anthony said. “I’ll let the front office handle that. It ain’t my job to be talking to New Jersey, New York, Lakers, Dallas, no one. That’s not my job to do.”
The Nets must receive permission from Denver to speak with Anthony or risk running afoul of tampering rules. But Anthony suggested he wouldn’t necessarily welcome the opportunity, even if that was the final hurdle to getting a deal finished.
“I still won’t step into something like that,” he said. “I understand a lot of people go through that. But for me to sit here and say I want to talk to them or (Nuggets general manager) Masai (Ujiri) and (Nuggets owner) Josh (Kroenke) gave them permission to talk to me, I think that’s false. If that was the case, I’m pretty sure I’d have gotten a phone call.”
Nets coach Avery Johnson on Sunday also tempered rumors of an imminent trade with the Nuggets. Speaking to reporters at a practice before Monday’s game at Golden State, Johnson was adamant that no deal was in place, according to the Star-Ledger of Newark.
“The team that you see right now? You’ll see this team in uniform Wednesday,” Johnson said. You’ll see the same team Wednesday night.”
Johnson said it’ll also be the same Nets team Friday before adding, “End of story.”
Trade speculation has surrounded Anthony since holding off on a three-year, $65 million contract extension that’s been on the table since last summer.
Anthony said Sunday night he doesn’t know when the saga will end.
“I get tired of answering the questions. But I live with it,” Anthony said. “I wake up in the morning, keep my head high. Be professional, answer the questions as you all ask them. I appreciate you guys with all the speculations.”
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.