Carmelo Anthony won’t have the chance to showcase his talents at the 2019 FIBA World Cup after Jerry Colangelo denied his request to play.
Carmelo Anthony can’t buy a break right now. The New York Knicks legend reportedly asked to join Team USA for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. That request was denied.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated spoke with USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo who said the New York Knicks legend reached out looking for a chance to play.
“I love Carmelo,” Colangelo said. “He made a great contribution. He was a very good international player. But for where we are and what we’re doing, that conceivably could have been a distraction. I understand why the request was made. He’s trying to reestablish himself. I think that has to be done in the [NBA].”
This is a tough look for Anthony. He is still a free agent and looking to latch on with another team after his short tenure with the Houston Rockets.
He officially retired from international play in 2016 after he won his third Olympic gold medal and became the all-time leading scorer in Team USA history in the process.
Colangelo has a fair point here. It’s obvious that Melo would benefit from playing on Team USA. But it wouldn’t help the team in China at the World Cup.
Team USA is fielding something of a skeleton crew at training camp right now. Tons of superstars have either dropped out or never considered playing in the first place. Although they’re still heavy favorites to win it all, Kemba Walker is the biggest star on the team.
Team USA needs to find its identity with lesser-known guys like Joe Harris and Mason Plumlee competing to make the roster. That’s no knock against Harris or Plumlee, but this isn’t the typical star-studded Team USA.
Moreover, it would be a shame to see Melo make the roster when a guy like Harris or Plumlee may never get another chance at playing in a major international tournament.