At just 32 years young, former Syracuse Orange National Champion Carmelo Anthony is the most senior man on the USA Men's Basketball team. On a team full of young players in their mid to late twenties -- Kyle Lowry is the only other player in his thirties -- Anthony has assumed the leadership role. With two gold medals already in his back pocket, it'd be hard for Anthony to be anything but the leader of this youth laden team.
"We have leaders," Mike Krzyzewski, the nefarious, crooked and all around bad coach of Duke and Team USA said. "Carmelo's been the main one."
Anthony is in line to win gold for the third time in as many tries. Should USA take home gold he would become the most decorated olympian to ever lace 'em up on the parquet. But if you ask the elder statesman, he's just trying to go out and have some fun with what's likely his last go around.
"Now I get the chance to kind of be the leader of the team, lead these guys and kind of enjoy it. For me, it's about going out there and having fun, getting that fun feeling back and trying to get another gold medal," He said.
Despite the knock on Anthony for not being a leader in the NBA, his teammates have been all ears when Anthony feels the need to speak. "I think he's been great," Demarcus Cousins said. "He's a very experienced guy, he's an old head on this team. He's seen it all. He's been on the winning teams, he's been on the losing teams, so that's definitely a voice we listen to in the locker room.
So far through the team's first three exhibition games, Anthony looks to be enjoying himself as mentioned. He's been quick to display his smile that made him such a household name during his Syracuse days. Well, that and his scoring prowess of course.
In the team's first exhibition game against Argentina, Anthony put up 17 points on five shots from range while hauling in seven boards. He followed that up with only five points on Sunday night against China, but still pulled in eight rebounds. Just two nights ago in a repeat exhibition against China, Anthony went on one of his vintage scoring sprees. He scored 16 points in the third to finish with 20 points on the night.
Wait, what was that cross in the first quarter? 'Melo cooked that guy like a 16" pepperoni at Dorian's on a Friday night.
Anthony and Team USA are off to a 3-0 start in exhibition play and will play Venezuela on July 29 and Nigeria (Hi Michael Gbinije) on August 1 before heading into official Olympic play in Brazil. Fans can stream the games live from Team USA's facebook page and can track Team USA's progress on the team website. As for us? We'll sit back and wait for Carmelo to have another one of these performances. Happy gold medaling.