A rather lengthy list of NBA stars withdrew from being considered for Team USA's squad in the FIBA Basketball World Cup, which will start on Aug. 31 in China. Apparently enough players didn't drop out for Team USA to seriously ponder the idea of one last run with a three-time Olympic gold medalist.
Carmelo Anthony played in just 10 games in the 2018-19 NBA season with the Houston Rockets before the team eventually traded him to the Chicago Bulls, where he was waived before ever suiting up. With his NBA career on life support, the 35-year-old apparently had interest in playing in this summer's tournament. But USA basketball said "Thanks, but no thanks."
“I love Carmelo,” Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball's managing director, told Chris Mannix of 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].”
It's hard not to notice that everything Colangelo said is in the past tense. NBA executives as a whole, of course, haven't issued a collective statement on the 35-year-old, but it appears they largely feel the same way about the 10-time All-Star.
Anthony spoke in-depth last week with Stephen A. Smith of ESPN about his mental state after his tenure didn't work out with the Rockets, and his hopes to continue his NBA career.
"I love the game too much to be away from it," Anthony said. "I just love the game. I do everything - I'm training young guys, I'm training myself...I've got a new life about me after that situation [his abrupt exit from Houston]. It took me a while to get out of that situation emotionally."