Things might not be going according to plan for the New York Knicks this season, but their franchise player has already got an eye on his plans for the summer.
Carmelo Anthony already has two gold medals and one bronze to his name as a member of Team USA at the Olympics, but the 31-year-old is targeting his fourth run at the Games this summer in Brazil.
Along with LeBron James and David Robinson, 'Melo is only one of three men to represent the U.S basketball team at three different Olympics, but despite lingering concerns regarding his ongoing knee injury, the small forward wants to make himself available to head coach Mike Krzyzewski this summer.
Speaking to Al Iannazzone of Newsday, Anthony put to bed any fears he wouldn't be physically capable of contributing in Rio.
“I want to go,” Anthony said. “I look forward to being a part of that. Not too many people can say they played in four Olympics and have a chance to win three gold medals. Not too many people can say that. To me, that’s the way I look at it and the way I approach the Olympics.”
The 2013 NBA scoring champion also told Marc Berman of the New York Post, "By that time, my knee will be fine. I'm not too concerned with the knee. My knee will be extremely fine by that time."
The Knicks are nine games back from the current inhabitants of the eighth seed in the East, the Chicago Bulls. Although they aren't mathematically out of the playoff equation, it would take a super-human effort for the team languishing in 13th place to make a run for the postseason.
Bearing this in mind, Anthony's campaign will likely be wrapped up by April 12 when they travel to the Indiana Pacers. That gives the nine-time All-Star around four months to prepare for the Olympics, which are expected to tip-off on August 6.
The Knicks franchise star told Iannazzone of his hunger to add to his legacy and have his name etched in the history books, something a few difficult seasons in New York must have accentuated.
Anthony said: "Nobody can take that away from you, being a part of history. Since ‘04 up until now, being a major part of the growth of international basketball, USA basketball, being there when we were at the lowest of the low when it comes to basketball internationally and then experiencing two gold medals, the way that we did it, I sit back and I dwell on that. I realize this is a special moment."
Last time out in London, the former Nuggets star acted as a sixth man for Team USA and was an excellent contributor averaging 16.3 points a contest.
Kobe Bryant has already dismissed the possibility of participating in the summer event, preferring to end his career in a Lakers jersey rather than steal an Olympic spot from a deserving young talent.
The likes of Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry, DeMarcus Cousins and Klay Thompson were all absent from the squad four years ago, and in the forward spots that Anthony would covet, Paul George, Andrew Wiggins or perhaps even rookies Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor might feel they have a case for inclusion.
Still, 'Melo is putting up an impressive 21.8 points and 8 rebounds a night this term despite the Knicks struggles. His experience could prove vital en route to another potential gold medal for Team USA.