When the iron is hot, you need to strike.
In this year's Olympic basketball tournament, no one attained greatness in a hotter fashion than Carmelo Anthony.
The United States shattered the record for most points scored in a single game in a 156- 73 routing of Nigeria. The United States was lead by the amazing efforts of small forward Carmelo Anthony.
Already with a gold medal that he won with the United States Olympic team in Beijing in 2008, Anthony returned to the 2012 London Olympics with even more to prove. Soon after losing the starting job to Kevin Durant, Anthony was given a blessing in disguise. Now Anthony comes into the game and gets to do what he does best, score the ball while taking a majority of the shots in the game. Anthony now leads the American team in scoring with 20.7 points a game.
Though, playing the small forward position, Carmelo is labelled as one of the prototypical European power forwards. Standing at 6'8", 220 lbs, he is tall enough and strong enough to match up with forwards in the European game. With the versatility that Anthony possesses, he is a match up nightmare for all of his opponents, beating bigger defenders with his quickness and shooting ability, while getting to the free throw line when he is guarded by smaller opponents.
In only fourteen minutes of action against Nigeria he displayed why he was so highly regarded in the international game. Carmelo exploded for 37 points. Hitting 10 three pointers and shooting an incredible 83 percent from the 3-point line. He dominated. At one point, Anthony even scored 15 consecutive points for the United States.
Melo's 10 three pointers made, as well as his 12 attempted, were new Olympic records. Anthony's 37 points during the game broke the American scoring record that was previously held by Stephon Marbury.
So when the iron was the hottest, I ask why not allow him to chase history?
In a game that was well decided after the first quarter, Melo should have been able to chase the 55 point record that Oscar Schmidt set in the 1988 Summer Olympics. During his run at the 1988 Olympics, Schmidt averaged 42.2 points a game.
Standing in similar size to Carmelo, the 6'8" forward was named as one of the top 50 players in FIBA history. Schmidt was also inducted in the FIBA Hall of Fame after finishing his Olympic career averaging 28.8 points a game.
After being drafted in the 1984 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets, Schmidt declined to join the NBA. The reason being is because Schmidt did not want to lose his amateur status and not compete with the Brazilian national team.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, in only playing 14 minutes and 29 seconds in the rout versus Nigeria, Anthony was well on pace for a 50 point performance.
Though Coach Mike Krzyzewski did not want to offend the international basketball realm as well as the Nigerian team by running up the score, Anthony should've been given the chance to break a record that has stood for twenty four years.
During the fourth quarter, when the American's were not running any fast breaks and only playing zone defense, that would have been a perfect opportunity for Anthony to sub in. A person shooting the ball at the incredible rate that Anthony was, should have been given the opportunity to rewrite the history books.
With David Stern also contemplating the idea of creating an Olympic roster that only features players that are 23 years or younger, we may never see a person come close to the performance that Anthony put up. Players such as Anthony Davis, who is the last person off the bench for the current American Olympic team, would play an methodical role if the rule were implemented already.
The United States team is en route to winning their second straight gold medal, and Anthony's efforts are a huge part of it.