Melo melo Melo melo melo melo Melo melo.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Please just finish.

To recap: Carmelo Anthony became an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday, then met with the Chicago Bulls. He visited Texas Wednesday, meeting the Rockets and Mavericks. On Thursday, he met with the Lakers in Los Angeles, then spoke with a traveling Knicks contingent nearby, then Kobe Bryant. On Thursday night, Friday, and Saturday morning, we heard the Knicks had made Melo a max offer that he'd likely accept-- possibly with a slight discount. We were told he'd take the weekend to make his decision. Saturday night, we suddenly heard the Lakers had been convincing in their meeting with Melo, and had emerged as the strongest of the underdog contenders to pull Melo away from the Knicks.

Today is Sunday. We haven't heard anything new, I guess because of the human need to sleep. Adrian Wojnarowski published a full report on the subject, which introduced the notion that Phil Jackson urging Melo to take less than the max "bothers" him. Because the Knicks reportedly made Melo a max offer, and because Melo once explicitly said he might be willing to take a pay cut, the above confuses me. The Lakers stuff in general-- because of its tone and sudden ubiquity-- stinks like an intentional, manipulative leak by one of the parties involved, but I guess you never know.

We've reached the point of rumor saturation at which you can find someone to tell you pretty much anything you want to hear. Whether you think Melo's going to stay for the max, stay for less than the max, leave for nothing, leave in a trade, leave in a zeppelin, or sit quietly at a picnic table eating an endless chopped salad until he grows old and dies, there exists at least one sourced report confirming your sense to be true.

This is an important, difficult decision for Melo and he deserves as much time as he needs to consider it...but goddamn do I hope he makes it soon. Like today. Injury is my least favorite thing about following sports. Fretting over other people's money is second. The sooner Melo's money gets figured out, the sooner other people's money can get figured out, and the sooner we can go back to thinking about basketball. I'm hopeful Phil Jackson and company can build a good team no matter what Melo decides, so let's get to it.

UpdateThis continues to make little sense:

According to a person familiar with the situation, Anthony felt as if he got mixed signals from the New York Knicks during his meeting with the team on Thursday. While Anthony and his camp were told that he could have a maximum contract if he wanted it, a source said, team president Phil Jackson continued to preach the virtues of taking less than the maximum—a message that left Anthony questioning whether the max offer was sincere.

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