Carmelo Anthony Sister Dies, Heartless Fans Complain

Jeanne Sager

Carmelo AnthonyThe death of Michelle Anthony, sister of Nuggets' star forward Carmelo Anthony, means he won't be playing with the team in Oklahoma City this Christmas. So can we hold off on bickering about the trade rumors for just one weekend to let a man grieve? His team is willing to let him go -- you can too.

Unfortunately, it's not looking that way for the fans. Google searches for Carmelo today pop up a few stories about Michelle, a mother of four who died of what has simply been termed a "pre-existing condition." They put into perspective all the rest: arguments over whether "Melo" should stay in Denver or move on.

He should go to the Houston Rockets! No, the New Jersey Nets. Wait, what about the New York Knicks? Or let's throw in the Chicago Bulls to keep things interesting. And let's not forget the Mavs are hurting for some Melo. Enough already!

It's enough to give this converted sports fan pause. It's Christmas, and a woman died on Tuesday. Michelle Anthony didn't make $16,378,325 this year. She didn't make 14 game-winning baskets this year. But she did leave behind four children. I can't think of anything worse at any time of the year, much less during the holidays. It's time to get off the computer and go hug your kids.

I'm as guilty as anyone else when it comes to turning sports stars into superheroes. I bleed pinstripes. Derek Jeter makes my heart go pitter pat. We love our sports stars, and when they're out of the spotlight, our thoughts stray first to the effect it will have on the game. No doubt Nuggets fans are bummed that they lost to the Spurs last night ... without Anthony.

But when the major disappointment of the day is "trade talks on hold" rather than "oh, how sad, a man lost his sister and four children lost their mother," you have to turn off the game, sit back, and smack yourself upside the head. We tell our kids "it's just a game." So for once, listen to yourself. Remember: Santa is watching.

In a statement, the Nuggets thanked Anthony's fans on his behalf and passed on his request that "they and the media respect his privacy during this time." They could start by respecting the sanctity of life. It will make you feel better about yourself.


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