Friday, November 16, 2007

Moving Forward Without Grudges

(Boulder-CO) The first meeting between the Nuggets and Knicks since last year’s brawl went off without a snag. All who were involved in last season’s ugliness were on their best behavior (as they should be in all the games they suit up for this season and the rest of their respective careers). The NBA isn’t a league that should tolerate ongoing feuds. This isn’t the crips and bloods battling over drug distribution territory or avenging wrong doings from the past. Rather, this is professional basketball and these are two organizations that should BOTH be ashamed of, and wiser from, what happened on that regretful night.
With that being said, why then is Terri Frei of The Denver Post asking, “But don't you wish Carmelo Anthony at least would play as if he holds a grudge?”
To which I would answer “No”, and retort with a couple of questions of my own.

A grudge for what? Isiah Thomas, or anyone else involved in that disgusting fracas for that matter, forcing him to throw a punch at Mardy Collins?

But regardless of the answers to my questions, thankfully for Nuggets fans everywhere Carmelo has since rightly owned up to his participation in the “Little Grapple in the Big Apple”, paid his debt to the league by way of a 15-game suspension, and is not going to subscribe to such a childish notion that is holding a grudge. Rather, Anthony has wisely stated, “I have nothing against him (Thomas). I've tried to put that whole situation behind me. He talked to me about it. ... He's still a coach in this league, I still respect him as a coach and I'm not going to hold any grudges against him about that.”

But then Frei writes, “It's one thing to accept that the 2006 incident is in the rear view mirror. It's another for Anthony to fall for Thomas' blather, as apparently so many are predisposed to do.”

Fall for Thomas’ blather?

How about instead of seemingly condemning Anthony for not behaving in the same immature manner that got him suspended in the first place, we applaud Anthony for choosing to learn from his mistakes, bettering himself as a person and player, and moving on with the rest of his career without a vendetta against the Knicks as a team, individuals on that team, or their brass?

Look, my point (if you haven’t already realized it) is Carmelo, as are the rest of the Nuggets for that matter, are doing exactly what they should be doing. They are concentrating on winning games, not holding grudges, and most importantly not lowering themselves to the level, both professionally and personally, that the Knicks currently reside at despite what some columnist may wish.

Right now, New York is a team that I would compare more similarly to a traveling sideshow than a storied and respected professional sports entity. The sexual harassment case, a player going AWOL and then threatening to blackmail his coach, and a losing record to boot do not illustrate that the Knicks are a very solid franchise at any level. Furthermore, suggesting that the Nuggets, who are not without their own problems, should lower themselves individually or as a team to a level where grudges are held, thus insinuating that there is a score to be settled, is just as irresponsible as the actions of those involved on that cold December night at the Garden back in 2006.

So, if the Nuggets want redemption for a grudge held against the Knicks they should forget about what happened last season and only be concerned with redeeming themselves for the loss they suffered in New York already earlier this season. And in my opinion, suggesting anything other than that is unbecoming of professionalism regardless of profession.


johnnyquest said...

I couldnt agree more! I read that article this morning and had the same thoughts. We shouldnt hold grudges toward other people and try and take it out on them. Like you said, we should applaud Carmelo for his maturity to let it go and to not worry about it. Good job Melo.

Jonathon said...

Part of what I love about sports is the fact that they aren't entirely professional, that there is more to the action on the court, field, rink, or whatever than a bunch of robots just doing their jobs. There's passion. There's ecstasy. And yes, at times there's anger. Sometimes that anger gets out of control, as in the Palace brawl and the apple grapple, but I'd rather have that be the case than see emotion removed from the game altogether. I spend enough dull, boring, "professional" hours a week at my job. Now, I'm not advocating fighting in the NBA, but I am promoting physical, emotional play, and I am promoting grudges. I love rivalries, which, when it comes down to it, are just grudges on a larger scale. I'm extra amped for saturday's game because it's the knicks, and I really hope that the team is too. I hope melo comes out with a little extra menace in his eyes and annihilates new york, not with violence, but with an extra measure of grit, determination, and anger. A grudge and the anger that accompanies it is fine so long as a person controls that ire and channels it in a productive manner. Staying on an even keel for all 82 games is, of course, an excellent recipe for success, but the great thing about rivalries is that they show up on the schedule only sporadically. The Nugs, and melo in particular, could stand to come out saturday night with an edge to them, and I hope they use that edge to run the knickerbockers out of the pepsi center.