Carmelo Anthony explains why USA Basketball needs ‘The Avengers’ at Paris Olympics on ‘Point Forward’

Carmelo Anthony was the guest this week for episode 100 of “Point Forward” and the NBA legend didn’t mince his words when he discussed the need for Team USA to make a major statement at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

To this end, from a business perspective, Melo believes 2024 Team USA is on pat with the 1992 Dream Team when it comes to hype. That’s a serious statement when talking about the most famous basketball team of all time. Just so we’re clear: This is the roster for the 2024 games.

PG: Stephen Curry/ Tyrese Haliburton/ Jrue Holiday
SG: Anthony Edwards/ Devin Booker
SF: LeBron James/ Jayson Tatum/ Kevin Durant
PF: Anthony Davis/ Kawhi Leonard
C: Joel Embiid/ Bam Adebayo

You can move the starters around however you want, but this is a loose guide of what USA is putting on the court this summer. It represents some of the biggest international stars in basketball, both of the last 20 years with Steph, LeBron and KD — but also the newer generation of stars like Ant, Tatum, and Embiid.

“International players damn taking over the league,” Melo says. “Now we’ve got to put our Avengers together to take on these other countries.”

Obviously he’s referring to Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, and now Victor Wembanyama — all of whom have taken the NBA by storm. It used to be that the USA could more or less send whoever and still at least compete, but now the game is so global that our second and third tiers aren’t good enough.

“All eyes. It’s all eyes. There’s pressure too. Because these other countries, these guys are playing against them every single day.”

Melo’s point here is fascinating, and accurate. Go back a decade and each international team maybe had one or two NBA players on them if they were lucky. Even then the world’s best weren’t going head-to-head vs. the LeBron’s or KDs on a nightly basis. Now there’s more parity, and more importantly the international players can’t be stunned the way they used to when matched up against NBA talent.

The Achilles heel of the USA has always been preparation. It’s never been an issue of talent, because on paper NOBODY compares to the United States. However, as we’ve seen from past international team their teamwork and chemistry often far surpasses that of the NBA stars we send.

It’s going to be a fascinating Olympic games, especially with so many dangerous teams up and down the groups. Serbia are the non-U.S. favorites to win with Jokic, but are still considered a longshot.

Now we wait to see if The Avengers can assemble, or be beaten down by an international Thanos.

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