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Carmelo Anthony Discusses Desire to Play in 2016 Olympic Games

FILE - In this Aug. 12, 2012, file photo, United States' Carmelo Anthony celebrates after the men's gold medal basketball game at the 2012 Summer Olympics, in London. LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are a step closer to a fourth Olympics, and Stephen Curry is in position for his first. The NBA stars were among 30 players selected Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, as finalists for the U.S. basketball team that will attempt in Rio de Janeiro to win a third straight gold medal.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press
Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2016

Carmelo Anthony hasn't enjoyed a winning season with the New York Knicks since the 2012-13 campaign, but he's hoping to experience victory of the gold medal variety this summer when Team USA heads to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to defend its international hoops crown at the 2016 summer Olympics. 

Speaking to reporters in Dallas Tuesday on Tuesday, Anthony expressed interest in returning to the Olympic stage after capturing gold medals in 2008 and 2012 with the Red, White and Blue, according to ESPN.com

From a morale standpoint as a player, if you've been through the things I've been through the past couple of years you want to feel what that success feels like. You want that success. So the Olympics for me is great timing -- especially coming off this season and injuries, and mentally it's good for me to get out there and feel what that feels like again.

Anthony's comments come on the heels of Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul telling Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins he decided to withdraw his name from consideration for this summer's Olympics. 

"I feel my body telling me that I could use the time," the floor general said, according to Jenkins. 

The story differs for Anthony, who sounded like a player itching to return to the international stage despite Paul's decision to take a break. 

"If we were all going to do it, I would've loved for (Paul) to be a part of that, especially for this one last time," Anthony said, per ESPN.com. "If he's not feeling it, his body's not right and not healthy, then no need for him [to play]."

After averaging 11.5 points during Team USA's 2008 gold medal run, Anthony poured in 16.2 points per game throughout the 2012 Olympics in London.

Anthony's breakout performance came in Group A play against Nigeria, when he set the U.S. single-game scoring record with 37 points and hit 10-of-12 three-point attempts. All told, Anthony topped 16 points in five of Team USA's eight games during the 2012 jaunt. 

USA basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo has some tough decisions ahead when it comes to roster construction, but Anthony's status with the squad shouldn't be in question.  

The Knicks sharpshooter has proved his worth time and again as an efficient scorer in international play, and the fact that he's averaging a career-best 4.2 assists per game this season should only help his cause when decision day rolls around.   

And with Paul out, and New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis expected to miss the Olympics after suffering season-ending knee and shoulder injuries, Colangelo would be wise to keep a veteran stalwart like Anthony around to help hold the 12-man roster together. 

 

Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com unless noted otherwise. 

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