After winning his third gold medal and fourth overall, Carmelo Anthony was full of emotions.
“We fought. It wasn’t always pretty. We came together July 17, and we all committed for this one reason right now, and it was a special moment for me,” Anthony said in his postgame interview with NBC.
Anthony, who won a bronze medal with the U.S. in 2004 before winning three straight gold medals, moved ahead of LeBron James as the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team’s all-time leading scorer in a group play game against Australia.
“I know this is the end. This is it for me, this is it for me. I committed to something,” he said before stepping away from the microphone and wiping his eyes before a “Melo” chant broke out. “I committed to this in ‘04. I’ve seen the worst, and I’ve seen the best. I stuck with it — we stuck with it. And I’m here today, three gold medals later. I’m excited for me, but also for the other guys who have never experienced anything like this. Coach K, myself, Jerry Colangelo, and everybody else who’s been a part of this situation, a part of USAB since I’ve been here. I just want to say thank you for allowing me to be one of the leaders, not of just our team, but of our country.
“Despite everything that’s going on right now in our country, we got to be united,” Anthony said with tears in his eyes. “And I’m glad I did what I did. I stepped up to the challenge, but this is what it’s about, and representing our country on the biggest stage that you can be on, America will be great again. I believe that. We got a lot of work to do, but it’s one step at a time, and I’m glad we represented it in the fashion that we did.”