NBA superstar and veteran USA basketball player Carmelo Anthony played down pressure to match up with past Dream Teams, but acknowledged that the memory of letting the gold slip away still haunts him.
Anthony played on the Olympic gold medal-winning 2008 team in Beijing, but it’s the disappointing bronze medal that Americans took home at the 2004 Athens Games that drives him to victory.
“That feeling is in the back of my mind. That’s a motivating factor for myself and for some of the other guys that were on that team,” Anthony told TODAY’s Matt Lauer Wednesday.
The New Yorks Knicks forward and his Olympic teammates got off to a great start Sunday with their first game against France. The 98-71 win was attended by First Lady Michelle Obama, who personally congratulated team members with hugs following their victory.
The team beat Tunisia 110-63 Tuesday. As the competition heats up, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have scuffled a bit over which Dream Team — Jordan's original group, in 1992, or Kobe's current troupe — reigns supreme. Anthony shied away from joining that fray, but acknowledged that Jordan's original team set an unprecedented standard.
“We try not to compare ourselves to that team,” he said. “The way that they changed the way people view us as basketball players in America — we can’t duplicate that. What we try to do now is establish our own thing. We’re doing a good job of that.”