Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony was selected for the US Team. As part of making the trip to London, Carmelo will be united with his former coach, Mike D'Antoni, with whom he is rumored to have had a falling out. Anthony claims that he was not the reason D'Antoni quit as Knicks head coach and that he and D'Antoni are friends.
But there is some irony in that after everything that happened with the Knicks, with Anthony receiving most of the blame for D'Antoni's departure in March, that the two will be together every day here, in Washington, in Manchester, England, in Barcelona, and finally in London with the Olympic team.Anthony has played in the Olympics twice, winning a bronze in 2004 and a gold in 2008.
Both sides can laugh now, and apparently they did when they met at the team dinner Thursday night. It was the first time Anthony and D'Antoni, an Olympic team assistant coach, spoke since the two parted ways after the morning shootaround March 14.
"We talked, we laughed and joked," Anthony said. "I told you all back then I never had any bad blood with coach Mike. We've always been on the same page. It's good to see him." Anthony can shed defenders much easier than the perception that he was responsible for D'Antoni's decision to step down.
The two had philosophical differences. D'Antoni runs an offense predicated on pick-and-rolls and ball and player movement. Anthony is more of a post-up, isolation player.
The only true center on the US team will be Tyson Chandler of the Knicks. No other big men are part of the team. Therefore, Chandler will play a huge role on the team, and is likely to receive enormous playing time. Chandler has had international experience, but he has never played in the Olympics before.
The Brooklyn Nets have not played their first game yet as a team from Brooklyn, but they have a representative on the US Olympic team that will begin Olympic action on July 27. Guard Deron Williams will be participating in his second Olympic games after winning a gold medal in 2008.
With these three New York City stars representing the US in London later this month, the US men's basketball team begins its preparation. Exhibition games against the Dominican Republic, Spain, Argentina, and Great Britain are scheduled for this month, beginning with the Dominican Republic game this week in Las Vegas. The first Olympic game of 2012 will be against France on July 29.
Any result other than a gold medal will be a huge disappointment.