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Rocky Mountain News

Melo 'Back' To Syracuse ; Nuggets Will Play There In Preseason


August 8, 2003
Copyright © 2003 Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. All rights reserved. 

Syracuse University fans wanted Carmelo Anthony back this fall at Syracuse. He's coming back, although not exactly the way they hoped.

Anthony and his Denver Nuggets will play a preseason game Oct. 19 at Syracuse, N.Y., against the Detroit Pistons. The preseason schedule was released Thursday.

"I'm very excited to be going back to Syracuse," said Anthony, drafted No. 3 by Denver after leading Syracuse to the national title as a freshman. "What better way to start off my career than to do it back in Syracuse."

It's actually the fifth of Denver's eight preseason games. The Nuggets will open the preseason Oct. 9 at home against Phoenix and conclude it at home Oct. 24 against Indiana.

In between, the Nuggets will play six road games. In addition to the game at Syracuse, they'll play at Phoenix, Indiana, Toronto, Portland and Houston. The Portland game is Oct. 20, the night after the Nuggets are in Syracuse.

"That's one of the longest," said Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik, when asked if he'd ever played games on consecutive nights in cities so far apart. "But the preseason is for teams to make money and to barnstorm."

Assistant general manager David Fredman said the Nuggets originally were scheduled to play Oct. 18 at Detroit. However, the Pistons agreed to move the game after Carl Scheer, a former Denver general manager who is now a South Carolina sports promoter, proposed the Nuggets play a game in Syracuse.

"If the game draws well, we'll end up with a pretty good amount (of money)," Fredman said.

The Carrier Dome seats 33,000 for basketball. Adding more intrigue is that the Nuggets face the team that passed over Anthony with the No. 2 pick to take Serbian center Darko Milicic.

"That does make it interesting," Anthony said. "However, I'm going to be just as excited whoever we're playing."

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