Carmelo Anthony says winning a third gold medal will let him walk away from basketball happy, even if he never wins an NBA title, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
With a USA win in Rio, Anthony will become the most decorated male basketball player in Olympic history, making his count three gold medals and one bronze.
The Knicks star, at age 32, has yet to win an NBA title, and his one trip to the conference finals in Denver marks the furthest he’s made it into the postseason.
Anthony says he’s unconcerned as he weighs the merits of his career. He won gold with Team USA in 2008 and 2012, and has emerged as the team’s leader in his fourth Olympic trip.
“Most athletes don't have an opportunity to say that they won a gold medal, better yet three gold medals," Anthony said. "I would be very happy walking away from the game knowing that I've given the game everything I have, knowing I played on a high level at every level: high school, college, won [a championship at Syracuse] in college and possibly three gold medals.
“I can look back on it when my career is over -- if I don't have an NBA championship ring -- and say I had a great career.”
Anthony became USA Basketball’s all-time leading scorer on Wednesday, passing his friend LeBron James and scoring 31 points to help bail the Americans out in a tight 98–88 win over a highly competitive Australia team. He also holds Team USA’s single-game scoring record, dropping 37 points on Nigeria in 2012.