An Open Letter To Billy King

Dear Mr. King,

I’ve obviously been keeping my ear on the ground regarding the possible Carmelo Anthony trade and I just have to ask… how do you do it? I sincerely give you props on your patience and persistence, and I imagine it can’t be easy if the reports are correct in that Mikhail Prokhorov is jonesing hard for Melo to join the team. You can’t fight the owner, right? Well, not if you want to keep your job. In any case, there are obvious benefits in the trade happening – great player to market, a star in the NBA, etc.

However, I just don’t believe the price to get him is worth sacrificing the future of the team. I wrote about it recently, actually. Feel free to read it, but there is obviously no obligation.

Mr. King, the Nuggets constant waffling has to be grating. The fact that they continue to ask for more on different occasions after parameters of a deal have been agreed upon is abhorrent. This is obvious posturing and the longer they keep Melo away from the Nets to help the Nets win games, the higher the Nets’ pick (which would become property of the Nuggets) will be in the 2011 NBA Draft. Also, if I may be frank, I hate that the team is giving up on its youth if the reported deal is true. I understand that the team isn’t performing as well as we’d all like, but they are young and we have to have faith in that Avery Johnson will help guide them.

The team has to believe before they can execute.

However, with these constant trade rumors, what is the front office really having the players believe in? To some degree, they have to be asking themselves, “Why should I commit to the Nets if they aren’t committing to me?” It’s only human. Show them faith, have them believe, and the execution will be so much better. And, props must be given to Derrick Favors. Imagine being the youngest player in the league and never really, wholly, and totally wanted by the team that drafted you… and still performing at a high level, all things considered. His attitude and seeming work ethic leads me to believe that he will be very successful in the league. Why give up on him for a player that seems to be “settling” by signing with the Nets?

Mr. King, there is no better time for you, Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Prokhorov to walk away from the table and not receive a huge backlash from the fanbase. We are all reading the constant information from the internet and the Nuggets seem like the bad guy here. Most fans are already calling for the team to nix the deal. I will admit that I’ve never liked dealing for Melo at the price of Favors, and some combination of an expiring contract, Devin Harris, and multiple first-round picks. Regardless, this has gotten out of control and I admire your tenacity, but I suggest that your passion to building the Nets be towards a team and not one player (Melo) because to me, speaking frankly again, this deal is all about getting Melo at any cost, which is short-sighted.

This is your time to shine, Mr. King. Show the fanbase that the organization won’t play games and that you’re ready to commit to building the team one of the  right ways – developing your own players and through the draft. The five potential first round picks in the next two seasons are obviously huge and while the NYC area loves winners, they love underdogs just as much. But, they have to be lovable underdogs and that’s shown through their hard work and non-stop effort. The players don’t seem to be doing that and it’s probably because they don’t believe that the front office believes in them. Professionalism aside, everyone wants to be loved and respected.

Make a statement to the fans, the players, and the league, Mr. King. Walk away from this pendulous situation and move towards stability. Shape the team through the draft and build your legacy. The Nets’ legacy. I wish you nothing but luck.

Best regards,