Carmelo Anthony reaffirms 2016 Olympic pledge after Chris Paul withdraws

REUTERS/Mike Segar

Carmelo Anthony said he looked forward to playing for Team USA in the 2016 Olympics.

But he also said he’d share the experience with LeBron James and Chris Paula long-held aspiration.

So, how does Chris Paul withdrawing from consideration affect Melo?

Melo, via Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

“That doesn’t affect my decision either way,” Anthony said.

“Mentally, I think it’s good for me to go out there and feel what (winning) feels like again,” he said.

“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,” he said. “So the Olympics for me is great timing.”

This probably means we shouldn’t read too much into Melo’s statement on LeBron, who has repeatedly said he’s undecided on Rio. They just might for another opportunity to play together.

As for Melo, yeah, he could use a winning experience. Despite him quietly improving his all-around game and reducing the individual deficiencies that many blamed for his lack of team success, the Knicks have been miserable in recent years. Melo isn’t blameless, but he’s more victim than culprit. His supporting cast has been dismal, and he’s been hurt.

I’m not entirely convinced Melo belongs on the best version of a Team USA roster, but he helped the Americans win gold medals in 2008 and 2012 and a bronze medal in 2004. He has probably earned a spot on the team if he wants it.