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Nets owner tells team to drop Anthony deal
The megadeal to bring Anthony to New Jersey ended in stunning fashion on Wednesday night when Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov told the team to end the long, drawn-out trade talks with the Denver Nuggets.
In the past two weeks, the talks had taken on a soap-opera feeling and the Russian billionaire felt it had hurt his team.
“Really, I am not happy with the way the deal has gone until now,” said Prokhorov, who fielded questions in English and Russian. “It has taken too long. It has been played out in public. The uncertainty has taken a toll on the players … 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.
Denver general manager Masai Ujiri declined to answer questions about the Nets‘ decision, beyond saying the Nuggets have been in talks “with plenty of teams” regarding Anthony and insisting he harbored no ill will toward the Nets for calling off talks.
“I think I’ve been one of the guys who have been kind of hinting to you that this is a lot farther away from happening than you all think it’s going to be,” Karl said. “But we’ve got a fun game, a hell of a team to play against tonight … and I’m more excited about that than my billionaire friend from Russia kind of throwing another curveball or knuckleball into the process.
“If it’s true, it’s true. If it isn’t true, it isn’t true,” Karl added. “If it’s a ploy in the negotiation, that’s for the guys upstairs to figure out.”
There were reports Wednesday that Anthony’s representatives had let the Nuggets know that the 26-year-old forward was interested in playing for the Chicago Bulls. Houston and the Knicks also have been mentioned in trade talks involving Anthony.
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.
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