NEW YORK (AP) — Carmelo Anthony knows the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team headed to London may not be the powerhouse that was expected.
Not without the likes of Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose, the best of the Americans who have been knocked out.
“Injuries, man. Injuries is doing it all,” Anthony said Monday.
Anthony is still healthy, along with what he feels is more than enough talent to overcome the losses that would cripple most other teams.
“For me, I’m just happy that I can be a part of it again,” the New York Knicks forward said. “The guys that I’ve talked to that will participate are definitely excited about this opportunity, another opportunity to go over there and get a gold medal.”
Anthony was among the 2008 Olympic champions who quickly committed to return for a shot at a repeat. That seemed almost a given when the U.S. named a loaded roster in January that included a mixture of the 2008 and 2010 teams. That latter won the world championship behind Kevin Durant, who broke U.S. scoring records Anthony had set four years earlier in the ’06 worlds.
However, Howard needed back surgery and Rose tore knee ligaments in the opener of the playoffs. Chauncey Billups and LaMarcus Aldridge had already gone down, and the U.S. could still have further losses if Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who has missed nine straight games with a lower abdominal strain, decide they need rest after the Miami Heat’s season ends.
The Americans still should have the likes of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Anthony, Chris Paul and Deron Williams from the ’08 team, with players such as Durant, Russell Westbrook, Tyson Chandler and Kevin Love joining them from the world champions.
“Right now we still have most of the core guys that was on that (Olympic) team,” Anthony said. “Of course we will miss Dwight, Derrick Rose. We don’t know about Chris Bosh at this point in time right now, but we’ve got a lot of young talent that can come along and that I think can fit in with us.”
Anthony will report to training camp in Las Vegas with the rest of the U.S. team on July 5. On Monday, he participated in an event where Jeep, a USA Basketball partner, gave away a trip to watch the Americans’ exhibition game there against the Dominican Republic on July 12.
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