Monday, USA Basketball released its roster of 30 finalists for the 2016 Olympic Men's National Team, which will compete in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this summer. Below, you can see the compete list, courtesy of Marc J. Spears of Yahoo.
USA Basketball announces its 30 finalists for the 2016 US Olympic Men's Team. pic.twitter.com/8mew1AqytL— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) January 18, 2016
Unsurprisingly, Carmelo Anthony is on the list. Just to be clear, this does not mean that Melo has officially made the team. At some point after the current NBA season ends, Mike Krzyzewski and his assistant coaches will gather the 30 finalists and pare the roster down to 12. However, I think it would take a pretty heavy upset for Melo to not make the final roster. Anthony was a member of both the 2012 and 2008 Olympic teams (both of which won gold medals) as well as the 2004 team (which, sadly, only won a bronze medal). As long as Carmelo wants to be on the roster (he says he's currently undecided, but there's a pretty good chance he does), he will probably be in Rio.
Of course, there will be a fair amount of debate over whether Melo is one of the top 12 American players in the world, and even though I personally think that he is, I understand the opposing arguments. Regardless, it's hard to deny that he steps up his game in the Olympics.
Check out this game in 2012 against Nigeria, when he set the Olympic record for points in a game:
And here, in case you want to see more, is a 2012 Olympics Melo Highlights video (it overlaps a bit with the previous one):
Olympic Melo is super fun, and I can't wait to see him again later this year. That said, I do have one gripe here: how in the world did USA Basketball not find a way to sneak Kristaps Porzingis onto the roster? It's not that hard to forge someone's birth certificate.