Monday, July 22, 2024

Video: Carmelo Anthony Says He’d Bring LeBron James, Curry, Durant Off Bench for USA

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Jim Poorten/NBAE via Getty Images

USA Basketball and NBA legend Carmelo Anthony gave a unique and unexpected answer when asked who he would start if he was in charge of Team USA at the 2024 Summer Olympics.

In an interview with Overtime, Melo said he would go with a young starting lineup comprised of Tyrese Haliburton, Anthony Edwards, Bam Adebayo, Jayson Tatum and Devin Booker:

Anthony noted that doing so would allow for established veterans such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid, Stephen Curry and Jrue Holiday to contribute off the bench.

The United States men’s basketball team for the 2024 Summer Games is arguably more stacked than it has been in quite some time due in large part to James and Curry returning to the squad after opting not to participate in the 2020 Olympics.

Additionally, Embiid chose to compete for Team USA over both Cameroon and France, plus some youthful exuberance has been injected into the team in the form of Haliburton and Edwards.

This year marks the first time that James, Curry and Durant have all played together on Team USA in the Olympics.

That is monumental given that they are arguably the three best players of their era, as all of them have won NBA MVP and NBA Finals MVP awards while combining for 10 NBA championships between them.

Memorably, James’ Cleveland Cavaliers and Curry’s Golden State Warriors clashed in the NBA Finals four straight years from 2015 to 2018.

Curry and the Dubs won the first one, James and the Cavs won the second, and then the Warriors won the next two with Durant being named NBA Finals MVP both years.

It is difficult to envision Warriors and Team USA head coach Steve Kerr bringing James, Curry and Durant off the bench given his respect for LeBron and his experience coaching both Steph and KD.

Of course, Team USA’s roster is so stacked that it doesn’t necessarily matter who starts or who comes off the bench since all 12 team members figure to get plenty of playing time.

Melo is arguably the greatest Team USA performer of all time with three Olympic gold medals and one Olympic bronze medal to his credit. He also has the single-game record for points (37) by a Team USA player at the Olympics.

That means his opinion carries some weight, but given Kerr’s five NBA titles as a player and four NBA titles as a head coach, it stands to reason that he’ll be able to press the right buttons in his own right.

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