Carmelo Anthony may never win an NBA title, because while he’s a great, Hall-of-Fame-caliber player, he’s not quite good enough to drag a moribund franchise like the Knicks to an O’Brien Trophy.
For that reason, and probably others as well, Anthony has always placed a heavy emphasis on the Olympics. He played for the U.S. in 2004, when the team finished a disappointing third, then came back in 2008, 2012 and 2016. On Sunday, the U.S. defeated Serbia 96-66 to earn Carmelo his third Olympic gold, most ever for a male basketball player.
After the gold-medal game, Anthony broke down crying as he announced he would retire from international basketball. Here’s his postgame interview, in a couple parts.
Carmelo Anthony: CAPTAIN AMERICA FOREVER
Best part of Carmelo Anthony's Postgame interview. More than just basketball. Thank you for this message pic.twitter.com/1VUNe1UfQ7
— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) August 21, 2016
Carmelo was the veteran leader of Team USA this cycle, committing his summer to the Olympics when other stars of his age like LeBron James and Chris Paul stayed home, and it’s clear from this interview why he stuck around. Clearly, U.S. basketball is as important to Anthony as he is to the Team USA program.
Anthony wasn’t the U.S.’s best player at these Olympics, but he was a veteran presence on a young team and an experienced guiding hand for a group made up largely of first-timers. Carmelo won’t play for the U.S. in Tokyo in 2020, but his legacy as one of the best players in Olympic history won’t go away.