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01.03.2019 08:43
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CHICAGO -- Even Carmelo Anthony struggles to process the enormity of his Olympic accomplishments.The New York Knicks superstar and Team USA stalwart is on the verge of becoming the first American man to participate in four Olympic basketball tournaments.It really hasnt sunk in yet about the fact that Im playing in four Olympics and have an opportunity to win three gold medals, Anthony said before the U.S. mens basketball teams practice on Thursday. I think about it, but I havent really sat down and put everything into perspective. A lot of times when youre going through these situations, you tend to not put so much focus on the whole process and the journey until after the fact.As much as Anthony tries to shy away from the possibilities, the fact is he could become the most decorated Olympic mens basketball player in American history if Team USA rolls to its third straight gold medal in Rio next month, as is expected. Hes also in line for a slew of other Olympic mens basketball records.According to ESPN Stats & Information, Anthony is just 35 points shy of becoming the Olympic mens basketball all-time leading scorer. LeBron James currently holds the record with 273 points, spread out over the past three Olympics.Anthony has played in 23 Olympic basketball games, just one shy of the record James and David Robinson share for most in American history.Anthony has racked up 83 rebounds over the past three Olympics. Thats good for fourth in American history. Robinson owns the lead with 124.Anthony has made 75 field goals in Olympic play, good for fifth in American history. Michael Jordan owns the record with 111 made field goals over his two Olympics.Anthonys rise to the top of the U.S. program is even more impressive when you consider his humble beginnings on Team USA. In the 2004 Athens Games, Anthony played in just seven contests, according to, and scored just 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the tournament that saw the Americans earn a bronze medal.Jerry Colangelo was brought in months later as U.S. mens basketball managing director -- in charge of overhauling the organizations system and to try to atone for the underwhelming finish in Greece. But it was in those difficult moments immediately after a shocking loss to Argentina in the 2004 medal round that the foundation for Anthonys love of the program was formed. As one U.S. player after another dejectedly walked off the floor, it was Anthony, then just 20 years old, who individually walked most of the team back to the locker room.Jim Boeheim, Anthonys college coach at Syracuse and a mens basketball team assistant under Mike Krzyzewski since 2006, knows the player who helped the school win its only national title in mens basketball has changed a lot since his first Olympic experience.A huge development, Boeheim said. All those guys in Athens, even LeBron, and all those guys were young. And they did crazy stuff -- they did what teenagers do when theyre out on their own for the first time. Carmelo has really, over the years, matured in terms of on and off the court. Hes a leader now. He has been a leader for a while. Hes accepted his role on our Olympic teams. Hes been part of two gold medal-winning teams, one he started on and one he came off the bench. Now hes back, and Im glad hes back because he gives us a veteran guy thats been there, along with Kevin [Durant], two guys that won gold medals.Anthonys veteran presence is something this young American team will be able to lean on during its defense of another world title. The fact that Anthony continues to answer the bell for his country on the Olympic stage is something Colangelo gushes over. Out of all the stars in Americas deep pool of basketball riches, it is Anthony who has become the unlikely face of the national program over time, not James or Durant.The fact that he has had a commitment for that period of time and has served for that period of time is an incredible example for the other players, Colangelo said. Number one, its been healthy and good for him in terms of participation and being ready for the next season just a few months later when they go into training camp. He also, in the international game, has thrived. Hes been very successful in it, so its a feel-good kind of a situation. When youre happy and youre a player and you thrive in a system, you want to be there. So when you look at all that he brings to the table -- the leadership, the experience, the fact that hes been so successful -- its all of those factors that make it very special.But aside from health and longevity, what is it about Anthonys game that has made him so successful over time on the international level? Boeheim noted that the 3-point line is a little closer, 23 feet, 9 inches at the top of the key in the NBA compared to 22 feet, 1.7 inches in FIBA. But the larger key is the versatility in the All-Stars repertoire.Carmelos game hasnt changed that much, Boeheim said. He gets open, he makes shots and if you get up on him [he can] get to the basket. Probably internationally, hes a little better because they dont have many shot-blockers internationally, so he can get to the rim and shoot. Hes a really good offensive player anyway, but hes really even probably a little better internationally.After all these years, Anthonys reasoning for continuing to come back to Team USA is simple -- it has been a part of his entire basketball life. Aside from the soon-to-be four Olympic appearances, Anthony won a silver medal in 2001 as part of USA Basketballs Youth Development Festival. He earned bronze medals in the 2004 Games and the 2006 World Championships. And besides his two Olympic gold medals, he earned another gold in 2007 as part of the team that won the FIBA Americas tournament.I enjoy it, Anthony said. At first, early, Athens was -- I wanted to come back and kind of redeem myself -- myself as an individual and ourselves as a country. We did that. And just the program and the foundation that Jerry Colangelo laid and put into place -- I wanted to be a part of that.Anthony has a chance to cement that legacy even further in Rio, and Boeheim is hopeful that his schools famed protégé can help push the rest of the group to the mountaintop one more time.I wanted him to come because I thought it would be good for him to have a good experience again in basketball, Boeheim said. But I thought it was good for our team to have a guy thats been there.Anthony is trying to take all of this in stride. As much as he doesnt want to admit it, he has become the man that the rest of his teammates and coaches look up to as they try to dominate the rest of the basketball world.I try not to think like that, Anthony said of being the face of the Olympic mens basketball team. I think Im a big part of USA Basketball, but as far as being the face, thats a lot of pressure.As he has proved time and time again since those difficult moments 12 years ago in Athens, its a pressure that he has proudly overcome for the love of the game and his country. Cameron Maybin Jersey . World champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia won the gold medal with 237.71 points, Moore-Towers and Moscovitch followed at 208.45 and Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov of Russia were third at 187. Luis Valbuena Jersey . The lawyers filed a 33-page amended complaint Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan, expanding on the suit originally filed Oct. 3 in New York Supreme Court. Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz last week refused to compel Selig to testify in the grievance, and Rodriguez then walked out of the hearing without testifying. . There was no hesitation from the 40th-ranked Pospisil, from Vernon, B.C., who admitted that he cut back on his training sessions over the last few days to conserve energy as the long ATP season finishes next week at the Paris Masters. Garrett Richards Jersey . Vokoun departed practice on Saturday morning after discovering swelling in his thigh. He was taken to a local hospital where the clot was revealed. The club announced the surgery following a 5-3 exhibition loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Brandon Phillips Jersey . Miller finished in two minutes, 6.09 seconds, one day before the first medal race on the Alpine schedule. The 36-year-old American also turned in the top time in Thursdays opening training session.LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears and first-round draft pick Kyle Long agreed to a four-year contract Friday. The deal includes a fifth-year option. It also puts all the Bears picks under contract. A 6-foot-6, 313-pound guard from Oregon, Long was taken with the 20th pick as the Bears try to beef up a line that ranked among the worst in recent years and give Jay Cutler the protection he needs. Chicago also has added Pro Bowl left tackle Jermon Bushrod from New Orleans and guard Matt Slauson from the New York Jets this off-season. Long is the son of former Raiders star Howie Long and brother of St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long. Kyle Long reached the NFL even though his college experience was limited. A strong-armed pitcher at St.dddddddddddd. Annes-Belfield high school in Ivy, Va., he was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 23rd round in 2008 but wound up going to Florida State on a baseball scholarship. Academic issues forced him to leave FSU, and he also wound up spending a night in jail because of a DUI in January 2009. Long returned home and enrolled at Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo, Calif., in 2010 and wound up making the switch from pitcher to defensive end. He moved to the offensive line the following year with the Gauchos, and emerged as a key piece in Chip Kellys breakneck offence in his lone season with Oregon in 2012 even though he appeared in only 11 games. Longs draft stock rocketed after an impressive week at the Senior Bowl. ' ' '

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