As NBA veteran Carmelo Anthony tries to rejuvenate his career in order to have one final run, Team USA won’t be welcoming him back with open arms.
Anthony had reportedly wanted to play for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup, but the team wanted no part of it, believing that Anthony could be a potential “distraction.”
“I love Carmelo,” USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said, during an interview with Sports Illustrated. “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].”
The rejection speaks volumes for how Anthony is viewed, as Team USA has seen a flurry of elite players opt not to play, such as Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, and Damian Lillard, to name a few.
The decision hasn’t sat well with Anthony’s wife, La La Anthony, who believes that Anthony should have received a call out of “respect.”
It appears that Anthony’s approach the past few seasons of his career, such as his refusal to come off the bench or play a reserve role, has left a lasting impression on many within the sport.