- Associated Press - Monday, February 21, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - At least Carmelo Anthony didn’t have to switch uniforms in the middle of the All-Star game.

Everything else about the Denver Nuggets forward’s future was still profoundly unsettled Sunday night, with the New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks still vying to land him ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline.

After starting the day with another round of meetings on his future, Anthony contributed eight points and seven rebounds to the West’s 148-143 victory over the East in the 60th All-Star game.

Anthony had said he hoped to resolve his future this weekend while the entire basketball world gathered in Los Angeles, but ‘Melo seemed mellow about missing that soft deadline.


“It didn’t overshadow anything for me,” said Anthony, a West starter. “I had a great time. I had fun. I still enjoyed this weekend, regardless of what was going on and what has been said. Me and my family and my friends had a blast this weekend. … I said I hoped to have a word by today, one way or another. I’ve been up early dealing with this and all the festivities, but the night is still young on this side (of the country).”

In the latest episode of the NBA’s biggest soap opera, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov said he still believes they’re in the race for Anthony _ and if not, Prokhorov thinks at least they made it harder for the Knicks.

Meanwhile, the Knicks insisted they’re on the same page in their pursuit _ and that Isiah Thomas isn’t involved in it.

Prokhorov told CNBC on Sunday he had a “fantastic” meeting with Anthony on Saturday night. The Russian billionaire had pulled the Nets out of talks last month, and even after they were recently renewed he said he originally had no plans to meet with Anthony during the All-Star weekend.

“As you know, my instinct was to stay away and I still think that is (the) right decision,” Prokhorov said. “But when the meeting was fixed, (Nets general manager) Billy King called me and said, ‘We need you.’ I was convinced and I still think I’m right to stay away, but we have teamwork so sometimes we need to be all together.”

Asked at Staples Center before the All-Star game if he had any news on a deal, Prokhorov said: “I don’t care.”

The Nets still believe Anthony would agree to sign a contract extension with them that would be a prerequisite to making the deal, despite previous reports that he would only do so if traded to the Knicks.

“I was just listening,” Anthony said of his meeting with the Nets. “I didn’t give anybody a definitive answer. It was a good meeting to have. I’m not going to talk about the selling points and all that stuff. It was interesting. It’s hard for me to sit here and talk about what the Nets can do, because I’m not in a Nets uniform.”

Even if they can’t get an agreement from Anthony, Prokhorov sees value in the Nets‘ return to the trade talks.

“I think we made a very good tactical decision to force (the) Knicks to pay as much as they can,” Prokhorov said. “So it’s very good, it’s very interesting, it’s very competitive.”

And it created reports that the Knicks‘ negotiations had been taken out of the hands of team president Donnie Walsh by Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan _ with Thomas advising him. The team attempted to shoot them down with a statement Sunday.

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