Carmelo Anthony Wanted to Play For Team USA but Was Rejected

Carmelo Anthony with the US Men's basketball team. Photo by Heuler Andrey/AGIF/REX/Shutterstock (5837242v)

Carmelo Anthony’s nightmare continues. Aside from not being able to land a job in NBA, the future Hall of Famer was now also passed by Team USA.

According to USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo, Anthony expressed a wish to play with Team USA at FIBA World Cup in China this year through a representative but was rejected.

“I love Carmelo,” – said Colangelo while talking 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 re-establish himself. I think that has to be done in the [NBA].”

The decision to turn down Carmelo Anthony seems a bit strange, especially since almost every major NBA star decided to withdraw their name from the roster. While Anthony could indeed be a distraction from a media standpoint, since he would be the best-known name on the team, the 35-year-old might have been a good pickup for Team USA at least as a mentor to the younger players.

Anthony is considered one of the most accomplished U.S. players on an international level. He was part of Team USA on previous four Olympics, helping the team to win three straight gold medals.