Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Team: New York Knicks
2015-16 Statistics: 21.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 20.3 PER
If this were a ranking of USA Basketball lifetime achievements, Carmelo Anthony might have earned the No. 1 spot. Incredibly, 2016 marks the fourth time he’ll suit for the Olympics, making him the only men’s basketball player in history with that distinction.
Anthony ranks fourth all-time in U.S. Olympic scoring, not to mention first in made three-pointers, third in games played and fourth in rebounds, per USAB.com.
But at 32, Anthony isn’t the player he once was.
Slightly slower afoot and missing the bounce that used to produce highlight finishes, Melo remains a potent one-on-one scorer whose strength and wide array of off-the-dribble moves make him a handful for wings and bigger forwards alike. And in scoring 16 of his 20 points during the third quarter of an exhibition against China on Tuesday, he proved he could still heat up like he used to.
It wasn’t quite like the time he scored 37 points in 14 minutes against Nigeria in 2012, but it was still impressive.
Anthony is the old head on this roster, and he accepts the leadership role his track record justifies. Don’t expect his presence to be solely symbolic, though. He’ll likely start and could finish second on the team in scoring.