Jeff Swinger, USATSI

Since becoming the only three-time gold medalist in United States Olympic Men’s Basketball history, Carmelo Anthony has received high praise.

It’s a nice story. It truly is. Carmelo Anthony becoming the first and only player in United States Men’s Basketball history to collect three gold medals is absolutely noteworthy.

Noteworthy, but troublesome at the same time.

A serious problem arises when the amount of fanfare far outweighs the actual accomplishment. For Melo, in this nice story, the sports world has gone insane in its praise.

How could winning three times in a tournament that features studs versus scrubs be considered a phenomenal accomplishment?

Nobody cares. Or, perhaps, at least the New York City diehards don’t care. The fans who understand how tough and grueling the route to an NBA Championship is actually get it. These are the same fans who witnessed Patrick Ewing fight his way to the mountaintop only to get knocked back down time and again, and then dust himself off climb his way back up.

The two – a gold medal and an NBA Championship – don’t reside in the same stratosphere.

RELATED: Carmelo Anthony Is The Loyal Superstar

And yet, Melo is showcased on every major publication for this incredible achievement.

Come on now. Let’s get serious.

When a team’s fiercest competition is practice, against one another, winning the tournament, or championship, or gold medal in this instance, is far from a major achievement.

By no means should this narrative take away from what Anthony has recently achieved in society. His words, his actions surrounding some of the most publicized and critical topics in America have been a welcomed breath of fresh air.

First off let me start off by saying " All Praise Due To The Most High." Secondly, I'm all about rallying, protesting, fighting for OUR people. Look I'll even lead the charge, By Any Means Necessary. We have to be smart about what we are doing though. We need to steer our anger in the right direction. The system is Broken. Point blank period. It has been this way forever. Martin Luther King marched. Malcolm X rebelled. Muhammad Ali literally fought for US. Our anger should be towards the system. If the system doesn't change we will continue to turn on the TVs and see the same thing. We have to put the pressure on the people in charge in order to get this thing we call JUSTICE right. A march doesn't work. We tried that. I've tried that. A couple social media post/tweet doesn't work. We've all tried that. That didn't work. Shooting 11 cops and killing 5 WILL NOT work. While I don't have a solution, and I'm pretty sure a lot of people don't have a solution, we need to come together more than anything at this time. We need each other. These politicians have to step up and fight for change. I'm calling for all my fellow ATHLETES to step up and take charge. Go to your local officials, leaders, congressman, assemblymen/assemblywoman and demand change. There's NO more sitting back and being afraid of tackling and addressing political issues anymore. Those days are long gone. We have to step up and take charge. We can't worry about what endorsements we gonna lose or whose going to look at us crazy. I need your voices to be heard. We can demand change. We just have to be willing to. THE TIME IS NOW. IM all in. Take Charge. Take Action. DEMAND CHANGE. Peace7 #StayMe7o

A photo posted by Carmelo Anthony (@carmeloanthony) on

Whichever side of the fence you fall on shouldn’t take away the outstanding job Melo has done this summer. More importantly, the actual idea that he’s injecting himself into a major role on societal issues is the substance here. It’s not whether you agree with his words.

Perhaps this overwhelming show of patriotism has wrapped itself nicely with these gold medals. With this, the story becomes even richer.

And maybe, just maybe, thanks to the lack of storylines this time of year (MLB as the only active major professional sport), Melo’s extra pub can be rationalized a bit further.

Still, the overriding theme holds true: nobody cares.

Winning three gold medals on a powerhouse team who’s expected to route the competition isn’t a major accomplishment.

It’s simply a nice story to carry us through to the real, next NBA season.

New York Knicks

So, as you wait for the fresh 2016-17 New York Knicks campaign, understand what this entire Olympic thing really is. With the additions of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, and Brandon Jennings, Melo, for the first time in a long time, will have one serious opportunity to reach an NBA Championship level.

Root for Melo, even love Melo to pieces. Properly taking and placing his Olympic success into real perspective doesn’t change the fact that he’s your guy. It won’t change his mindset once the real (NBA) season comes along.

Even his recent words about Olympic success meaning just as much as NBA success won’t change things come November.

He’ll still be getting after it as hard as ever on the NBA hardwood.

Please, though, don’t buy into this ridiculous Olympic hype. Winning three gold medals in a studs versus scrubs format isn’t a major accomplishment. All he had to do was simply say, “I want to play.”

The United Men’s Basketball Team wouldn’t miss a beat if Melo (or any of these other stars) decided not to play.

That, my friends, isn’t hate. It’s simply reality.

NEXT: Carmelo Anthony Is The Greatest Olympic Men’s Baller Of All-Time


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