Although Denver didn’t need to win their 50th on Wednesday to make the playoffs (Denver’s fate was already decided by halftime with a Dallas win over New Orleans, clinching the seventh seed and by an earlier Golden State loss), the benchmark set by Karl is sort of an anomaly for Denver basketball. This season marks the first 50-victory season since they won 54 games in the 1987-88 season, reported The Denver Post. This season’s 50-32 record is coach Karl’s best and is tied for third-most wins for Denver in the NBA years.
But a shadow hangs over the triumph of the Nuggets, that of lead-dumbass Carmelo Anthony, who got arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence early Monday. Anthony was pulled over on a high-speed interstate in Denver after he failed to dim his headlights and drive in a single lane. He was given a roadside test, which he obviously failed, and then consented to a blood test, of which results won’t be available for another week and a half.
Coach Karl said he plans to wait for those results before any team action is taken, and that he feels Melo’s pain.
“In a lot of ways, we’re a family,” Karl said in a Post report last week, “and wee feel the pain of the distraction – and we also feel for him. I think we have all made mistakes.”
Yes, I can understand the mistake. I know a lot of good people who have made this mistake. I don’t know anybody who has made this mistake as he or she is entering the NBA playoffs in coming weeks. Just terrible timing for a dabble with the sauce, don’t you think?
With the money Anthony is being paid for his on-court performance, you would think the boy could have paid for a ride home – call a limo, a friend, or, hell even a gypsy taxi. Actually, he probably wouldn’t even have to pay for a ride. He has a million friends in and around the Denver metropolitan area (except his fiancé) who would gladly get up at 4 a.m. and give the star a ride. I guess the only smart decision he made that night was to opt for the blood test instead of the breathalyzer. At least he has a couple weeks to play before his incriminating results come back. (Though I truly hope the results come back below the state DUI level.)
To take the Anthony DUI incident one step further, several Denver news organizations have charged that Melo received special treatment from the arresting officer after he gave Melo a ride to a Denver hotel instead of bringing him into the Denver police department’s detoxification facility.
“I never had a client I can recall receive that kind of treatment,” attorney Chris Cessna told The Rocky Mountain News. Cessna has represented hundreds of DUI suspects in the Denver area.
In response to this charge, a Denver Police spokesperson said, “This is not a standard practice but it is done on occasion and it is not a violation of department policy.”
The fact of the matter is Melo, especially in Denver, must be treated differently because of his public figure status. He was given a ride home. Nothing more. The arresting officers made him walk the line, handcuffed him and arrested him just like every other DUI suspect. That time of morning, bringing Melo into detox was unnecessary and, for once, an officer used reasonable judgment in handling the player after the arrest. I have no problem with this treatment.
There used to be a time, especially in smaller towns, when officers would just give DUI suspects a ride home instead of running the full gamut of arresting procedures. Don’t get me wrong about DUIs. They are a serious problem and have to be dealt with in a serious way. In Melo’s instance, he was arrested and the problem of his driving is being taken care of. Melo posed no threat to anyone while he was given a ride home, and who knows, maybe the ride was given because of his cooperation throughout the procedure or that he wasn’t overly intoxicated. Any time an officer can make things a little easier in a person’s dark moments, like Melo’s, it is a welcomed gesture.
For now, Melo will have to wait until his court date and the results of his blood test. For the Nuggets, the bigger problem of Kobe Bryant and the Lakers lies ahead. Catch game one of that series on Sunday at 1 p.m. As of now, Anthony is expected to play in that game.