Colangelo: Carmelo Anthony Wasn't Considered for USA's FIBA World Cup Roster

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2019

Former NBA player Carmelo Anthony throws the ball back during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Miami Heat, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in New York. Anthony attended the game to watch the final game of Heat guard Dwyane Wade's NBA career. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo told reporters Sunday that Carmelo Anthony was not among the players considered for the 2019 World Cup team. 

Anthony, who remains a free agent, is the only four-time gold medalist in Olympic basketball history and the most decorated member of USA Basketball. His international resume is so impeccable that some speculated Team USA could bring Melo in to a World Cup team that's struggled to field a roster.

The current roster features just one player (Kemba Walker) who made an All-NBA team last season. Kyle Lowry and Khris Middleton are the only two other All-Stars, and Lowry has not been cleared to practice due to a thumb injury.

More than 50 total invites went out to the biggest names in the league, most of whom declined or withdrew due to scheduling conflicts, injuries or to get ready for the 2019-20 NBA season.

"The focus has to be on who's here—not who's not here," Colangelo said. "A number of the young players in this group have a chance, a real chance, some of them to make this team, some of them to make an impact in the World Cup."

Anthony, meanwhile, remains a player who wants to rewrite his final basketball chapter. He spoke to Stephen A. Smith on First Take last week, opening up on how he felt after being sent home by the Houston Rockets last season.

"That was an ego hit. That was a pride hit," Anthony said. "I started questioning myself after that. Can I still do this? What did I do? I asked him [Rockets general manager Daryl Morey] this. ... He just said it wasn't working out.

"When somebody in power that tells you that they no longer need your services. ... I've been utilizing my services for a long time. For you to tell me you don't need that no more. I honestly felt that I was fired. I felt like [what] other people go through on a day-to-day basis. People get fired. I honestly felt like I got fired."

Anthony said he still believes he can contribute to an NBA team and was incredulous at the notion he's no longer good enough to be part of a rotation, even as a role player. Team USA understandably wants to use the World Cup to develop young talent who could grow to be integral parts of future Olympic teams, something Anthony clearly is not.

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