Team USA Basketball 2012: Carmelo Anthony's Brilliance Asserts Olympic Dominance

Sam R. QuinnSenior Analyst IIIAugust 2, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02:  Anthony Davis #14 of United States and teammate Carmelo Anthony #15 celebrate during the second half against Nigeria in the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena on August 2, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Carmelo Anthony's record-breaking performance against Nigeria in the 2012 London Olympics was unequivocally the best display that American Olympic basketball has ever seen.

The New York Knicks superstar broke the American Olympic scoring record, pouring in 37 points on an incredibly efficient 13-of-16 shooting, going 10-of-12 from three-point land.

Anthony's dominance is impressive in itself, but when you take into account that he was only on the court for 14 minutes, it becomes almost unbelievable.

His production per 40 minutes is north of 100 points. It's unfathomable that he was able to rack up 37 points in a shorter game than the ones he plays in the NBA.

Melo's brilliance asserted the Olympic dominance of both himself and Team USA. 

He has long been a staple on the United States Olympic roster. Since 2004, he has been one of the cornerstones of the American gold-medal effort.

It got off to a rough start, though, as Athens didn't go so well for Anthony. He averaged a mere 2.4 points per game and was part of a disappointing bronze medal team that was expected to win the gold easily.

Anthony started to evolve into a superstar Olympian in Beijing. He averaged 11.4 points and 4.3 rebounds and was one of the key contributors to the "Redeem Team" actually finding redemption.

No performance in Beijing can match up to what Melo has done through three games in London. After a mediocre showing against France, Melo matched Kevin Love for the team lead with 16 points against Tunisia.

The 28-year-old superstar was just getting started. Thursday's outing against Beijing was the best an American Olympian has ever been.

It doesn't matter who you are, what team you are playing or where you are playing, a person isn't supposed to hit 10-of-12 three-pointers in a competitive game. It would be hard to equal that number in an empty gym.

After spearheading Team USA's effort that resulted in an 83-point victory over Nigeria, Melo has made a compelling case to be called one of the greatest Olympic basketball players of all time.

Of course, his team will need to win a gold medal for the argument to be relevant, but it doesn't look like any country will stand in the way of that happening.

Some believed that Melo would be one of the problems for Team USA in London because of his perceived selfishness on the court.

Not only has he proved that theory to be ridiculous, he's earned the right to be a little selfish with the ball.