Olympics Changed Carmelo Anthony's Mindset

By A.J. Speier
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

When Carmelo Anthony returned from the Olympics, most experts thought the New York Knicks would be getting a much more focused player and so it appears they’re right.

Anthony is currently the second-leading scorer in the NBA with an average of 28 points per game.

During his time as a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, which won a gold medal, Anthony shot 53.5-percent from the field, making half of his 46 3-pointers attempted. Despite coming off of the bench, Anthony averaged a little over 48 points and eight 3-pointers per eight minutes.

Since returning to the Knicks, it appears Anthony has used a similar strategy. He is currently tied for ninth in accuracy from 3-point range at 44.8-percent.

“He’s a lot more focused,” fellow Olympian and Knicks teammate Tyson Chandler said. “I think last year was disappointing for him, as it was for the rest of the team. He came back, had a great Olympics, was one of the best players there — if not, the best — and it’s huge for him.”

After the Olympics were finished, Anthony came back realizing how important it was to be an all-around player and try to get more teammates involved with scoring.

“I think everybody pretty much knows I can score the basketball, but for me, I’m done trying to score 30, 35, 40 points for us to win a basketball game,” Anthony said, following the Olympics.” I don’t want that role anymore. It’s what I do best, but in order for this team to be successful with the guys that we have we need a more well-rounded team.”

While Jason Kidd gets most of the credit for being the leader of the Knicks, Anthony deserves some credit too, not only verbally, but also with his play. In the game against the Charlotte Bobcats, Anthony sacrificed his body diving into the stands trying to save a possession, but ended up lacerating his finger and missing two games.

“He’s been more vocal than he’s been in the past years,” J.R. Smith said. “I don’t think he’s as shy as he’s been in previous years to come out and say something, speak his mind. I think he has a group that he believes in and will listen to him as well, so it helps.

One of the big questions for Anthony is whether he’ll be able to find a way to coexist with another superstar when Amar’e Stoudemire returns. If he can, the Knicks will be able to contend for a title and Anthony might win his first MVP award.

Follow A.J. Speier on Twitter @Ajbisons for articles, news, and all things NBA

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