Carmelo Anthony Tearfully Says Goodbye to Team USA After Claiming Third Gold Medal

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Manu Ginobili isn't the only Olympic basketball player that bid his team a tearful farewell at the conclusion of his stint in Rio.

After Team USA shellacked Serbia 96-66 to claim gold on Sunday, Carmelo Anthony, who became the first American man to win three gold medals in basketball, expressed what such an honor means to him.

“I know this is the end. This is it for me. I committed to something … I committed to this in ’04," he said in a postgame interview. "I’ve seen the worst, and I’ve seen the best. And 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 never experienced anything like this. Coach K, myself, Jerry Colangelo and everybody else who have been a part of this situation—who have been a part of USAB since I’ve been here.”

Anthony averaged 12.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists through eight games in Rio, and became the nation's all-time leading Olympic scorer.

The 32-year-old New York Knicks star—who earlier this summer spoke out against gun violence in America at the ESPYs with friends LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Paul—called for unity in his home country.

“I just want to say thank you for allowing me to be one of the leaders—not just of our team but of our country. Despite of everything that’s going on right now in our country, we gotta be united. I’m glad I did what I did, I stepped up to the challenge. This is what it’s about. 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. It’s one step at a time. I’m glad we represented in the fashion that we did.”

Now to make sure his teammates don't sing Vanessa Carlton on the trip back home so the man can get some sleep.

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