Carmelo Anthony will be watching Team USA compete for its third consecutive FIBA World Cup title from the sidelines.
According to USA Basketball Managing Director Jerry Colangelo, Anthony requested to join the team through a representative, but Colangelo said the team was moving in a different direction.
“I love Carmelo,” Colangelo told Sports Illustrated. “He made a great contribution. He was a very good international player. But for where we are and what we’re doing, that conceivably could have been a distraction. I understand why the request was made. He’s trying to reestablish himself. I think that has to be done in the [NBA].”
Anthony, 35, has been a huge asset on national American teams in the past. He helped the U.S. win a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics, then was instrumental in pushing the Americans to three consecutive gold medals in 2008, 2012 and 2016 in the Games.
He also was named the 2016 USA Basketball Co-Male Athlete of the Year.
Anthony currently is a free agent after he was waived by the Bulls in February. He had signed a one-year contract with the Rockets last August, but Houston traded him to the Bulls at the end of January after he played just 10 games with the team.
He started his NBA career with the Nuggets, and spent just more than seven seasons with Denver before he was traded to the Knicks in 2011. He remained in New York until 2017, when he was sent to the Thunder.
Anthony then was traded to the Hawks, where he accepted a contract buyout and was placed on waivers in July 2018.