Carmelo Anthony Sparks Outrage with Controversial Team USA Starting Five Picks

Carmelo Anthony Sparks Outrage with Controversial Team USA Starting Five Picks
Image Credit: Carmelo Anthony

NBA legend and former U.S. men’s basketball team member Carmelo Anthony has stirred up a storm of controversy with his recent comments on who should be the starting five for Team USA in the upcoming Paris Olympic Games. During a visit to Team USA’s practice at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Anthony was asked to share his picks for the starting lineup, and his answers did not sit well with many fans.


Carmelo Anthony, known for his illustrious career with the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks, opted for a youthful lineup, selecting Tyrese Haliburton, Devin Booker, Anthony Edwards, Jayson Tatum, and Bam Adebayo as his starting five. He justified his choices by emphasizing the importance of youth and fresh legs in the lineup. Carmelo Anthony then mentioned that seasoned superstars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid, Steph Curry, and Jrue Holiday would come off the bench.


Fans quickly took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to voice their disagreement with Anthony’s picks. The reactions ranged from disbelief to outright criticism. One shocked fan tweeted, “This might be the worst starting 5 you could possibly create out of the roster.”


Another fan didn’t hold back, using Anthony’s choices to highlight his lack of an NBA championship: “This is why Carmelo has no rings.”


Criticism also came from fans who questioned Anthony’s credibility as an Olympian. “3x Olympic gold medalist lol,” one user wrote, while another bluntly stated, “‘You don’t know ball.'”


Some fans found Anthony’s selections laughable, with one tweeting, “Lmaooo Melo lost his damn mind,” and another simply stating, “That 5 lost.”



Despite the backlash, some fans saw merit in Anthony’s reasoning. One analytical fan wrote, “He has a valid reason though, start with the young guys, fresh legs, then Bron, KD, Steph gonna pick up the pace and run with it, game over.”


Another fan defended Anthony by pointing out that all the players he named made the team: “‘Everybody he named made it so you just talking.'”



Team USA has set its sights on defending their gold medal at the Paris Olympic Games. The team, packed with NBA superstars, began its preparation with a game against Canada in Las Vegas, the first of five tune-up games. The roster includes LeBron James (LA Lakers), Steph Curry (Golden State Warriors), Kevin Durant (Phoenix Suns), Anthony Davis (LA Lakers), Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers), Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics), Derrick White (Boston Celtics), and Jrue Holiday (Boston Celtics).


Next up for Team USA is a game against Australia on July 15 in Abu Dhabi, UAE, followed by matchups against Serbia on July 17, South Sudan on July 20 in London, United Kingdom, and Germany on July 22. The team will kick off its Olympic campaign in Group C, facing Serbia on July 28, South Sudan on July 31, and Puerto Rico on August 3.


Carmelo Anthony’s bold choice of a youthful starting lineup underscores a significant debate in sports: the balance between experience and youthful energy. Anthony’s picks reflect his belief in the vitality and stamina of younger players, potentially offering a strategic advantage against seasoned opponents. However, the backlash also highlights the respect and trust fans have in veteran players, whose experience and skill have been proven over time.


Carmelo Anthony’s career has been marked by both incredible achievements and notable controversies. His recent comments on Team USA’s starting five are no exception. While his reasoning for selecting younger players has merit, it also underscores the challenge of making such decisions in a public forum where every choice is scrutinized. The passionate reactions from fans are a testament to the deep connection and emotional investment that people have in their favorite players and teams.


As Team USA prepares for the Paris Olympic Games, the mix of youth and experience will undoubtedly be a key factor in their quest for gold. Whether Anthony’s picks will prove to be visionary or misguided remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: the conversation and controversy surrounding his choices have added an extra layer of intrigue to the upcoming Olympic basketball competition.


Alex Turner
What's up, hoops enthusiasts! I'm Alex Turner, a basketball junkie with a playbook for a heart. As a former player and coach, I've taken my love for the game and turned it into a journey of analysis and insight. My articles aim to break down the game's strategies, dissect crucial plays, and offer a glimpse into the tactical intricacies that make basketball an art. From the NBA to college hoops, I'm your go-to guy for decoding the language of the court. Let's dive deep into the world of basketball together!

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