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Carmelo Anthony Leaves Team after Sister's Death

AP Photo

Trade speculation surrounding Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony was pushed to the backburner as the basketball star was dealt a family tragedy.

Anthony's sister, Michelle, died Wednesday night in Baltimore of a pre-existing medical condition, leaving behind four children. Anthony left the Nuggets to spend time with his family and is expected to return after Christmas, reports the Associated Press.

Anthony had already left Denver by the time of Wednesday's game against the San Antonio Spurs and will likely miss the Nuggets' Christmas Day matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Coach George Karl said news of Anthony's loss "brings us down to earth."

Anthony, 26, has been the subject of rampant trade rumors after rejecting Denver's efforts to sign him to a contract extension. He is slated to become a free agent at the end of the season.