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Why Kobe Is Defending Melo

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You know times are strange when the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant has become the voice of sanity. Bryant, in town with his team for tonight’s game against the Nuggets, has an interesting yet insightful message for the Nuggets fans who’ve been booing Carmelo Anthony: “You’ve got to show support. He’s still playing hard.… If you’re teeter-tottering about going somewhere, you’d be more inclined to go somewhere where they’ll cheer you,” Bryant says (via the Denver Post).

But, Kobe: What about die-hard Nuggets fans who are hurt that Melo wants to leave?

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“Oh, please. Don’t give me that [expletive].”

Bryant says Melo could end up deciding to stay in Denver, and it’s not about the money, or a bigger market–it’s about winning. “If you want to keep a player here, make the right decisions,” the five-time NBA champion says. “Make the right choices with personnel, get a team around a guy to help you win, and there would be no problems.”

Bryant publicly demanded a trade from the Lakers in 2007 when he felt they weren’t fielding an adequate team, but he was mollified with some key acquisitions (via the Los Angeles Times).

Meanwhile, the fallout from the Nuggets’ failed deal with the New Jersey Nets continues to reverberate around the league. The Associated Press reports that Nets’ general manager Billy King apologized to his team yesterday for putting them through the Melo-drama. And Denver fan-favorite Chauncey Billups tells the Denver Post (in a separate article) he knows his future with the team remains unclear after being included in the proposed Nets trade.

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