I grew up in a great household and we had not much of anything, but my mom provided for seven kids and made sure we were stable. I never wanted for much growing up and just the simplest things made me happy.

I could take 30 minutes to drink an ice cold orange pop (slang word for soda) by just lifting the bottle cap a tiny bit to allow droplets to come through. I treated a hostess Suzy Q cupcake and Twinkie like a full-course meal. A blow pop sucker was the bomb because you got gum at the end. Please don’t let the ice cream truck come around the neighborhood after dinner because the whole neighborhood would rush the truck.

I remember the best times I had as a kid were playing the game I love (basketball) and standing around with my friends talking smack with each other.

When I went to college and eventually to the pro ranks, yes, I was excited about accomplishing my dreams and making a salary, but something was always missing.

The part that was missing was the time in my life that was the happiest, which is strange because I had none of the things and opportunities I have now.

Money is a tremendous tool, but that’s all it is if used and understood correctly.

Carmelo Anthony is showing me by not jumping on a three-year, $65 million extension with Denver that he is chasing stability and a desire to put himself in a position in regards to his happiness and no one else’s.

I believe that “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," but I also believe that we have a small window for happiness and decisions you make that involve strictly money can have you rich and sad simultaneously.

I had a good friend commit suicide a few years ago because he lost millions. He still had the ability to go make more, but money was obviously controlling his happiness.

Yes, Anthony has money he made prior to the Nuggets' offer and I am sure critics will say he can only do this because he has money. Well, isn’t that a great thing? It shows us Anthony has done the right thing by taking care of his money and investing it well. So give credit to an athlete that has put himself in a great bargaining position.

Anthony is definitely envious of his close friends in Miami. Chris Paul too. So what? I would too if I wanted to be around people I enjoy and play the game I love. Who wouldn’t want to be in the perfect workplace and make great money?

There are millions of people in the world that despise their jobs, but make great money.

That leads us back to the same old adage: Money does not make you happy.

LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer and every other free agent made decisions in their minds based on money and happiness and that is the perfect scenario for all of us.

Denver has a very good team, but in my estimation they are an emotional wreck when it comes to sealing the deal come playoff time. Anthony is starting to realize that this problem is not going away because they have not made any significant changes.

I rate George Karl as the second best coach I had in my career next to Cotton Fitzsimmons and the only reason I see Carmelo signing that deal is because of Karl’s abilities to bring the best out of him.

I have said many times in this blog that Anthony is the best offensive forward in the NBA. He would become even better if he had an offensive-minded center or power forward playing alongside him.

So liking Houston (Yao Ming), New York (Amare Stoudemire) or Chicago (Carlos Boozer) does not surprise me in the least bit.

The Nuggets are in no position to roll the dice in regards to Anthony. These players of today are all willing to roll the dice for their own happiness and this is something the NBA has not experienced. No way I could get up from a table and walk without hesitation away from $65 million, but I understand how Anthony can do it and it’s because he is not happy.

Timing could not be worse for the Nuggets, who are in the middle of a front-office overhaul, but here is a suggestion from a player who played on seven teams and over 200 teammates... The Nuggets need a better mix of personalities.

When I look at the Nuggets I see players who are overly emotional and with the same set of skills. Anthony and Chauncey Billups are the only players that have a multiple skill set and that is why they struggle to advance come playoff time. They are too predictable and Anthony is seeking a change.

The challenge for the Nuggets is to somehow make him happy and obviously money is not going to get it done.