Carmelo Anthony won a gold medal for Team USA in London. But does it redeem him in the eyes of Denver fans? (John Leyba, The Denver Post)
- Aug 16:
- Río y su reto para los Juegos Olímpicos de 2016
- Aug 15:
- México con base dorada de jóvenes para el futuro
- Aug 12:
- With London done, Brazil gears up for '16 carnival
- Río y su reto para los Juegos Olímpicos de 2016
- U.S. men stave off Spain for basketball gold
- Aug 11:
- Mexico stuns Brazil 2-1 for gold medal in soccer
- Brazil shaken by 1st Mexico goal in Olympic final
- Mexicanos celebran triunfo sobre Brasil
- México le gana 2-1 a Brasil y se queda con oro de fútbol olímpico
- Aug 10:
- Brazil looks to capture 1st Olympic soccer gold
- Londres: Aroma de partidazo entre Brasil y México, por el oro
- Pajon wins gold, Oquendo wins bronze for Colombia
- Colombia estalla de alegría con Mariana Pajón
- Aug 9:
- Usain Bolt wins Olympic 200 again as Jamaica sweeps sprint
- Aug 8:
- Fútbol olímpico: No te confíes, Brasil; México es de cuidado
- Aug 7:
- Brasil golea a Surcorea y avanza a la final del fútbol olímpico
- México vence 3-1 a Japón y avanza a final del fútbol olímpico
- Column: Women's boxing surprise hit at games
- Shields' 18-14 boxing triumph guarantees her a medal
- Aug 6:
- Esparza busca darle medalla olímpica a EEUU en boxeo femenino
- Guatemala gana primera medalla olímpica; Caribe goza en atletismo
- Brasil y México a un paso del podio en fútbol olímpico.
- Without high-tech suits, records fell at Olympic
- Aug 4:
- Missy Franklin helps U.S. medley team to gold, world record
- Aug 3:
- México gana plata y bronce en tiro con arco de mujeres
- Aug 2:
- Se despide Phelps, llega el show de Bolt en Londres 2012
- Missy Franklin wins 200 backstroke semifinals to qualify second overall
- Aug 1:
- Mexicanas Espinosa y Orozco ganan plata en clavados
- Evans keeps Brits unbeaten in Olympic boxing
- Missy Franklin gets 2nd gold medal; U.S. wins 4x200 freestyle relay
- U.S. boxers Marlen Esparza, Claressa Shields to help make history
- Uruguay al borde del abismo; Honduras sueña
- Jul 30:
- Loaded field to swim 'Race of Century'
- Jul 28:
- Missy Franklin gets first medal with bronze in 4x100 freestyle relay
- Jul 27:
- Londres palpita la inauguración de los Juegos Olímpicos
- With royalty and rock, Britain opens its Olympics
- Jul 26:
- "Missile" Missy Franklin ready for launch at London Olympics
- Pink carpet least of the issues for gymnasts
- Jul 12:
- Missy Franklin enjoying all of 1st Olympic camp
- Critican en EEUU fabricación de uniformes olímpicos en China
- Lawmakers furious over China-made Olympic uniform
- Jul 11:
- Londres: Residentes están alarmados por misiles en su techo
- Jul 6:
- Missy Franklin: la próxima gran estrella de la natación
- Jul 3:
- Phelps, Franklin lead U.S. swimming into Olympics with 7 events apiece
- Jul 1:
- Is Ryan Lochte the new face of U.S. swimming?
- Jun 30:
- Leyva beats Orozco, both gymnasts going to London
- Missy Franklin qualifies first, Bonnie Brandon fourth in 200 back
- Jun 28:
- Missy Franklin gets another U.S. Olympic spot; second in 200 freestyle
- Jun 25:
- Ryan Lochte new king of Team USA swimming pool
- Más controversia por los trajes de baño en Londres 2012
- Lochte, Phelps advance to final of loaded 400 IM
- Jun 24:
- Centennial's Missy Franklin ready for U.S. Olympic swimming trials
- Jun 20:
- U.S. Olympic uniforms could shave time off sprints
- Jun 8:
- BMX racer David Herman of Wheat Ridge hopes strong starts yield golden finish
- May 24:
- 70 days, iconic sites: Olympic torch arrives in UK
- Antorcha olímpica llega a Gran Bretaña para travesía de 70 días
- May 16:
- Beckham llevará la antorcha olímpica de Grecia al Reino Unido
- Apr 5:
- Té verde podría alterar exámenes antidopaje en Olímpico
- Feb 8:
- Phelps using hyperbaric chamber to aid recovery
- Jul 21:
- Young minority leaders spend weekend at U.S.Olympics training center
- Jul 6:
- SKorea's Pyeongchang awarded 2018 Winter Olympics
LONDON — Can angry detractors in Denver ever let go of their hate for Carmelo Anthony, a man who has played a major role restoring pride in American basketball?
The hard-earned 107-100 victory over Spain that earned Team USA the gold medal was born six years earlier out of dejection on a court in Japan, where Anthony and teammate LeBron James dealt with the reality they had lost a semifinals game to Greece, better know for urns than dunks. Greece? Really?
Carmelo Anthony celebrates the United States' victory over Spain in the finals game at the London Olympics. (John Leyba, The Denver Post)
"If you go back and look at the pictures, you'll see me and LeBron were the only two left on the court. We stayed for their celebration. It was a bad feeling," Anthony recalled Sunday. "We got back to the States, and (James) asked me: "Are you locked in?' And I told him: 'Yeah, I'm locked in.' "
Nearly 18 months after forcing a trade from the Nuggets, Melo is called many nasty names in Colorado:
Well, now that he owns a second Olympic gold medal, here's a new way to describe Anthony:
True hoops patriot who bleeds red, white and blue.
After combining forces with coach Mike Krzyzewski in 2006, James and Anthony went to work on restoring the image of basketball in the USA, at a time when it was an unpopular choice, with catcalls to erase any signs of NBA influence from the Olympics.
"When Coach K came on board, we talked for hours," Anthony said. "He told us it was going to be a commitment, it was going to be a journey, but it was going to be a fun journey."
Even with an intense U.S. focus on winning, the most famous coach in America and a roster point guard Chris Paul calls the best team he will ever direct, gold is no longer a given for the Team USA. It required 30 points from Kevin Durant and a 10-2 run early in the fourth quarter to fend off Spain, with brothers Pau and Marc Gasol playing with so much passion it seemed to be as much about family pride as national spirit.
"We knew it wasn't going to be easy. We didn't want it easy," said James, who finished with 19 points and seven rebounds after a first half when he never quite got in the flow. "A lot of teams have won gold easy. We didn't want it that way."
With Team USA, Anthony thrives off the ball, constantly seeking the space to provide instant offense. Catch. Shoot. Swish. This is a less-can-be-more lesson. You wonder if it can stick to Melo once he returns home to the New York Knicks.
"There's only one thing that's missing for me, which is the NBA championship," Anthony said. "I've had the chance to win a championship in high school, college and two gold medals, so my next goal is to win an NBA championship."
Anthony is well aware that in Denver there remains acrimony for him that's harder than the Rocky Mountains.
In the hours before fellow U.S. teammate Andre Iguodala was traded from Philadelphia to the Nuggets during the Olympic tournament, he sought input from Anthony on living in the forgotten time zone.
"He asked me about how it was in Denver. And I told him he would love playing out there. The fans are great. I got a chance to get close with Josh Kroenke and Masai Ujiri; they are great dudes, great guys," Anthony said. "Also, with the team they have, the Nuggets play a fast-paced game. They get up and down the court. And that's Uguodala's game."
OK, now for the tough question: What did Melo tell Iguodala about playing for Nuggets coach George Karl?
"I didn't really say anything about George," said Anthony, laughing. "He didn't ask me about him."
Mark Kiszla: 303-954-1053, email@example.com or twitter.com/markkiszla