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Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony plans to play for U.S. in Olympics

Carmelo Anthony scored 37 points as Team USA

Carmelo Anthony scored 37 points as Team USA romped over Nigeria in men's basketball at the 2012 Summer Olympics. (Aug. 2, 2012) Credit: AP

DENVER — Carmelo Anthony has visions of winning an unprecedented third Olympic gold medal this summer in Brazil, and isn’t concerned that his knee will prevent him from playing.

Anthony, who has had soreness in his surgically repaired left knee this season, believes he will be fine and will be able to commit to playing in a record fourth Olympics for the men’s national team.

“I want to go,” Anthony said. “I look forward to being a part of that.

“Not too many people can say they played in four Olympics and have a chance to win three gold medals. Not too many people can say that. To me, that’s the way I look at it and the way I approach the Olympics.”

Anthony and LeBron James would be the first four-time Olympians for men’s basketball and would be the only men’s players to win three gold medals if Team USA pulls it off in Rio de Janeiro.

They played on the 2004 bronze medal-winning team and won gold in 2008 and 2012. Although his professional career hasn’t resulted in much playoff success, Anthony relishes his international legacy.

“Nobody can take that away from you, being a part of history,” Anthony said. “Since ’04 up until now, being a major part of the growth of international basketball, USA basketball, being there when we were at the lowest of the low when it comes to basketball internationally and then experiencing two gold medals, the way that we did it, I sit back and I dwell on that. I realize this is a special moment.”

Thomas injures knee

Lance Thomas was shooting around before the game, and injured his left knee after planting on it. Thomas was helped to the locker room and didn’t play. Thomas, who had left knee issues earlier this season, will be evaluated by doctors and there is no timetable yet for his return.

No backcourt change

Interim coach Kurt Rambis said he’s not considering removing Jose Calderon from the starting lineup at this point to get rookie Jerian Grant more minutes and experience. Rambis hopes to get Grant in the rotation more, though.

“Just throwing somebody out there and just living with everything for 35 minutes, that’s not the best way to learn, either,” Rambis said. “We just got to use him at the right time, and continue to talk with him and help his growth process.”

Fast breaks

Anthony said he’ll be able to figure out LeBron James’ recent tweets, which have many wondering who and what he’s talking about. “I’ll crack it,” Anthony said, “but I got to check it out.” . . . Rambis said the Knicks are working with reserve forward Derrick Williams on making him “more responsible as a defensive player.”

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