Carmelo Anthony wants to capture his third gold medal with Team USA this summer at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Anthony is one of 29 finalists competing for the final roster after Chris Paul announced he was dropping out to take time off this summer.
In explaining why he wants to play in the Olympics in August, Anthony also gave a depressing pulse-read on his Knicks, who will miss the playoffs for the third straight season. The losing sounds as if it’s weighing Anthony down (via ESPN):
“From a morale standpoint as a player, if you’ve been through the things I’ve been through the past couple of years, you want to feel what that success feels like. You want that success. So the Olympics for me is great timing, especially coming off this season and injuries, and mentally it’s good for me to get out there and feel what that feels like again.”
The Knicks are 30-45 this season, on pace for 33 wins. Last season, they set a franchise record for most losses in a reason, going 17-65, while Anthony sat out the second half of the year to get knee surgery.
Furthermore, the path to contention is hazy for the Knicks. There’s promise in rookie Kristaps Porzingis, but he’s 20 years old and Anthony is turning 32 this May – their timelines are considerably different. The Knicks are without a first-round draft pick this June and they’ll have cap space at the precise time when more than half the NBA will as the salary cap jumps.
So, Anthony wants to get in some winning while he can. Perhaps LeBron James’ super-team idea is starting to sound more enticing to Anthony.