New York Knicks' fans can only wish that star forward Carmelo Anthony could be as comfortable, and play as effortlessly, for the Knicks, as he appears to play for the Team USA men's basketball team.
"This whole experience, every time I come back from playing USA Basketball, my mindset is a lot different," Anthony said late Tuesday night after the Americans' surprisingly comfortable win at the Palau Sant Jordi. "The team-oriented atmosphere I bring back to my team, the focus that I have, my conditioning and carrying that into the regular season, it’s like I’m getting an early start. In ’08 coming off a gold medal going into the 2009 season, that was one of my best seasons. My body felt great; my mind felt great. That’s something I keep in the back of my mind coming off USA Basketball."
Here is a little more of the mellow 'Melo:
"I don’t like it better than NBA basketball. I play NBA basketball, that’s my career, that’s my life blood," Anthony said. "But FIBA basketball allows me to play multiple positions and do a lot of different things out there on the basketball court than I do in the NBA. I’m in a different position, I play the 3, the 4, the 5. I don’t play the 5 back in the NBA. Over here, with these guys on the team, it’s more playing off of them, doing some dirty work, when the ball comes to you trying to knock down shots, rebounding. Most of the times I’m playing against 4s and 5s, and it’s a much more physical game than in the NBA. I won’t be playing the 5 in New York, I know that.