With so many injuries and withdrawals from the USA Basketball team, Carmelo Anthony has presented his case to be a replacement. Unfortunately for Melo, the interest was not mutual and he was denied.
Speaking to Sports Illustrated this week, USA Basketball Managing director Jerry Colangelo explained the decision to turn Melo down. He revealed that while Team USA appreciates Melo’s contributions to multiple Gold medal-winning teams, they recognizes that he wants to use the FIBA World Cup as a showcase to “reestablish himself.” To that end, Team USA would prefer he do that in the NBA.
“I love Carmelo… 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].”
Melo is a three-time Olympic gold medalist, and helped the US win bronze in the 2006 FIBA World Championship. But despite winning gold in Rio just three years ago, he has seldom seen the court for Team USA since.
— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) August 8, 2019
The 35-year-old forward struggled to get onto the court in the NBA last year as well.
After starting 78 games for the Oklahoma City in the 2017-18 season, he played in only ten games for Houston this past year.
Melo was traded to the Chicago Bulls mid-season, but was waived immediately. He is currently a free agent.
If the FIBA World was Melo’s best chance to showcase his skills for the NBA, he may need to go in another direction.