WASHINGTON • Carmelo Anthony, having endured years of National Basketball Association (NBA) disappointment, chases an Olympic-record third men's basketball gold medal with the United States team in Rio.
The 32-year-old is the oldest man on the US collection of NBA stars, having endured a humbling bronze-medal showing at Athens in 2004 and led a revival that brought gold in 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London.
He became the first man on four US Olympic hoops teams by saying yes when many other top players, including LeBron James and Stephen Curry, declined to play in Rio.
"A lot of people were telling me, 'Don't do it. Don't do it.' But I actually enjoy it," Anthony said.
"It's also an opportunity to go get another gold medal and I didn't want to miss out on that opportunity."
He is a nine-time All-Star and a former league-scoring champion on a struggling NBA team.
Since joining the New York Knicks from Denver in 2011, the team have won only one play-off series.
But with the Olympics, Anthony has enjoyed his greatest success.
"I feel pretty good about this team," he said. "We've still got some things we can get better at, get used to playing with one another. But I like this team.
"Sometimes it comes easy to us. Sometimes it doesn't. But it's a matter of having the opportunity out there."
It is a great opportunity for Anthony, who has averaged 24.9 points and 6.6 rebounds a game over 13 NBA campaigns.
But he knows how hard it is to win gold against a field of ever-improving global rivals.
"I know we're expected to win the gold. We want to win the gold. But the process is not easy," he said. "I don't want guys to think just because we're the best players in the world that it's going to be easy, because it's not."