A little bit of good news was delivered to New York Knicks fans before the weekend. Forward Carmelo Anthony has made plans to attend the Team USA Basketball minicamp in Las Vegas next month as the team begins its preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
"In a sign that Carmelo Anthony should be ready for the start of training camp, the Knicks’ $124 million man plans to attend a USA Basketball minicamp in Las Vegas from Aug. 11-13 as part of the build-up for the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil.The Knicks told the Daily News in an email on Friday they are OK with his involvement in the minicamp. Anthony was given a timeline of 4-to-6 months to return from surgery."
Anthony’s participation in the minicamp is a positive sign that he’s on schedule with his rehab after surgery in February to repair a torn patellar tendon in his left knee.
Anthony was given a timetable of four-to-six months after surgery to return to the hardwood. He is currently participating in basketball activities, but is not yet at full strength.
Since Anthony is still recovering, he’s not expected to participate in all team activities. That lines up nicely with the minicamp’s objective to work out players in non-contact drills before culminating in an All-Star Game style exhibition.
According to ESPN.com, the Sin City minicamp is intended as a showcase for players who want to compete for gold next summer in Brazil. Team USA hasn’t set the rosters, but it expects a number of high-profile players to attend, even if they are injured, as a way to express their desire to play in Rio.
"“I think it’s important for those who want to continue with us and be under consideration for ’16 to be with us in Las Vegas for a couple days,” USAB managing director Jerry Colangelo told ESPN.com. “It’s going to be low key. Light workouts, no contact and then play an all-star game. No concern about competitiveness. We’re not evaluating anyone.”"
Anthony, a three-time medalist in the Olympic Games, including two golds earned in 2008 and 2012, hasn’t formally announced his intention to play in next year’s games.
His presence in Las Vegas would signal that he fully intends to play.
While there’s no guarantee that he would make the squad, Anthony turned in one of the most impressive performances in Olympics history in the 2012 Olympics with his 37-point eruption against Nigeria. He did so in just 14 minutes of play.
That gangbusters performance, in which he went 10-of-12 from behind the arc, made Anthony the all-time U.S. scoring leader in Olympic basketball history. With numbers like that, Colangelo would be hard-pressed to leave the Knicks’ $124 million dollar man off the roster.
Anthony’s stellar catch-and-shoot game is tailor made for international competition.
Regardless, his intention to attend the minicamp is a positive development for both the Knicks and USA Basketball. Colangelo would be wise to take a long hard look at Anthony as he continues the rehabilitation process.
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