- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NEWARK, N.J. | The megadeal to bring Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey Nets is dead.

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov told the team to end trade talks with the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, saying he was unhappy with how it played out in public, that it took too long, got too expensive and cost the team games.

The Russian billionaire also canceled a planned meeting with Anthony on Thursday and said there was no chance — that’s a big nyet — that the trade would be resurrected.

“There comes a time when the price is simply too expensive,” Prokhorov said in a news conference before the Nets‘ game against Utah. “I have instructed our team to walk away from the deal.”


Previously, New Jersey had offered to ship six players and at least two first-round draft picks to Denver in a three-team deal that would have sent Anthony to the Nets along with former Pistons teammates Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton.

Prokhorov decided Tuesday to end talks with the Nuggets, and general manager Billy King said he informed them via a text message as Prokhorov was speaking on Wednesday.

“Really I am not happy with the way this deal has gone until now,” Prokhorov said. “It has taken too long … and I believe it has cost us several games.”

The Nets have lost six straight, including all four on a just-completed West Coast road trip that ended in Oakland on Monday.

Prokhorov said the Nets received permission from Denver to talk with Anthony on Monday night, but he never spoke to the All-Star forward.

“Maybe he sent me an e-mail but I never use computer, that’s why, maybe, I missed it or maybe carrier pigeon got lost,” Prokhorov said.

Since Prokhorov took over the team last year, the Nets have tried but failed to land a superstar.

Prokhorov personally led the Nets‘ delegation in free agency talks with LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in July, and he said the decision to pursue the 26-year-old Anthony since the start of training camp was purely a basketball decision.

However, Prokhorov showed he didn’t make billions waiting for other people to make decisions. When he got fed up, he said enough.

“I am not ready to overpay,” Prokhorov said. “As soon as you make a mistake, you can wait for the next chance for the next five or six years. That’s why I prefer to be really patient.”

Prokhorov even showed a touch of sarcasm when asked if King tried to talk him out of the decision.

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