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Jimmy Butler Jokes He'll Only Play in 2021 Olympics If Carmelo Anthony Does

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2020

United States' Carmelo Anthony, right, celebrates after scoring, alongside teammate Jimmy Butler during the second half of an exhibition basketball game against China on Tuesday, July 26, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. The United States won 107-57. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

There have been a lot of versions of Carmelo Anthony throughout his career between Syracuse Melo, Hoodie Melo and others. 

Jimmy Butler apparently doesn't plan on playing in the 2021 Games unless Olympic Melo makes another appearance.

Butler joined Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird on Instagram Live Saturday, per Anthony Chiang and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, and revealed he does not want to play in the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo—which were postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic—even though he was among the preliminary finalists to make the 12-man roster.

"I told [Carmelo Anthony] that if he plays [in the Olympics], I play," Butler joked. "Melo said that he's not playing."

The 35-year-old Anthony returned to the NBA this season as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers and though he's no longer the version of himself who won a scoring title and was named to six All-NBA teams, he's still an Olympic legend.

He won bronze in 2004 and gold in 2008, 2012 and 2016. He was second to only Kevin Durant in scoring in 2012 and 2016 when he averaged 16.3 and 12.1 points per game, respectively.

Butler was part of the 2016 team in Rio De Janeiro went 8-0 and took home gold. The Miami Heat swingman averaged 5.6 points per game.

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