Despite the dynamic duo, the Denver Nuggets have become stale, and George Karl might do something radical about it.
Unhappy with the play and attitude of Carmelo Anthony, the coach has considered benching his star, according to a report in the Denver Post.
"I think that's the next move," Karl said, according to the Post. "I've told Melo in the last two weeks, 'I don't think you're listening. I don't think you're listening as well as you need to listen.' For me, the next step is to change the democracy back to a dictatorship."
After beating the Hornets 106-91 on Tuesday night, the Nuggets have a 15-20 record since acquiring Allen Iverson and are stuck in the seventh spot in the Western Conference. That's not the results the team expected when it made the biggest trade of the season.
Between his 15-game suspension for his role in the brawl at Madison Square Garden and his All-Star snub and then addition to the team, Anthony has lost his way.
"The inconsistencies, we have excuses for. But I'm tired of seeing it," Karl said, according to the Post.
Maybe the impending birth of his son has distracted Anthony. His fiancee, La La Vazquez, was induced Tuesday night and due at any time. Anthony doesn't know if he'll miss any time, but he did head right to the hospital after the game. He told reporters the baby had not arrived yet.
"Just waiting for it to happen," Anthony said, according to the Rocky Mountain News. "The anticipation is always high this time when you're about to have a baby and about to be a father."
Karl would like to see a reborn Anthony on the court, getting back to the complete player that carried the Nuggets early in the season. Although the league's leading scorer was putting up 31.2 points per game in his last five contests heading into Tuesday, the Nuggets were 2-3 in those games.
"Personally, I think Melo should forget about scoring," Karl said, according to the Post.
Maybe the message got through. Anthony scored only 21 points in the Nuggets' win on Tuesday.
"Prove to people I don't have to score 30 points to win a basketball game," Anthony said.
After the win, Karl said his comments were "not directed at Melo, but at the whole team."
Before the game, Karl pointed to Tracy McGrady who was thought of primarily as a scorer early in his career but who has expanded his game to fit a Houston team that is playing well.
"Tracy McGrady has grown up. Tracy McGrady gets it," Karl said, according to the Post. "And, right now, what you're saying is basically, 'When is Melo going to get it? Is it going to be next month?' As a coach, there's no one more frustrated, there's no one more angry than me, because I feel the pain."