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Jim Boeheim Convinced Former Syracuse Star Carmelo Anthony to Play in the Olympics

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Would you say no to Jimmy B?

Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

With some of his close friends absent from the squad, Carmelo was on the fence about playing for Team USA in the upcoming Olympics...Until Jim Boeheim called. In an interview with the New York Post, Boeheim said "I called him to see what his thought process was. He was squarely on the fence. I told him how he'd be good for our team. We knew Lebron [and others] weren't going to come. It would be great for our team to have you...I said it would be good for you in my opinion, you'll get a great experience playing basketball again."

Boeheim went on to comment on the critics who say Anthony's age (32) could be an issue. "I truly believe guys benefit. Every guy we have has had real good years after the summer. He's going to work out two hours a day, five days a week in the summer anyway. I've seen the [pickup] games he plays in. He gets those guys together and they play full-court for an hour-and-a-half straight. Those critics think he's in a rocking chair in the summertime. He works out every day."

Carmelo also commented on the conversation to the New York Post. "He actually made some great points. I already knew what he was saying, but it was exciting and motivating coming from somebody like that. Did it have any effect on my decision? Maybe. I had to really think about some of the things he was talking about." He goes on to say that his knee feels good after his recent surgery and that getting in "top-notch" shape will be very important going into this upcoming season with his new-look Knicks team.

Team USA will play its first exhibition game Friday in Las Vegas against Argentina. They will open Olympic play on August 6 against China.

It is also worth mentioning that Carmelo will be trying for a record third basketball gold medal at this year's games.