WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony doesn’t feel tired after leading Team USA to a gold medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. In fact, he feels competing against the world’s best basketball players has given him a boost heading into training camp.
“I’m very happy that I participated in the Olympics,” Anthony said during the New York Knicks‘ Media Day at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Westchester, N.Y. “I say that I feel better now than I’ve felt in a long time because of the fact that I was competing competitively throughout the course of the summer, at a very high level at that.
“You gotta rely on training, individual workouts and everything else you gotta do to prepare for the regular season. This time, I was actually able to play in a controlled environment. A competitive environment, being around some of the best players in the world. Playing against some of the best players in the world. I think that gave me an opportunity to come into training camp ready to go.”
The 32-year-old Anthony torched Team USA records, becoming the country’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder in Olympic competition en route to earning his third gold medal. The summertime training, he says, physically prepared him for the rigors of heading into his 14th NBA season.
“I say this every year coming into training camp, that I feel great. But it’s a different feeling from a physical standpoint of how I feel,” Anthony said. “I feel in the best shape that I’ve felt in a long time, due to the fact that I was able to play a lot of basketball and train and workout throughout the summer. So physically, I feel great. Just playing with the guys, running up and down the court, I feel great.”
The Knicks re-tooled around their All-Star forward this summer, adding former league Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose, former Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah, shooting guard Courtney Lee and back-up point guard Brandon Jennings. Anthony acknowledged it will be a team effort for the Knicks to make the post-season after a three-season playoff drought that included a franchise-worst 17-65 record in 2014-15.
“At the end of the day, it’s gonna take me to be the best that I can be out there on the basketball court to make this successful,” Anthony said, “alongside with everybody else doing their job and playing their role and being the best that they can be.”