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Though Upset By Olympic Role, Anthony Eager for 2008

Saturday, September 4, 2004; Page D02

Carmelo Anthony spent many nights at the Olympics in his hotel room depressed and wanting to go home.

The Denver Nuggets star was demoted to the bench during the Athens Games, in which the NBA players lost three times and finished with the bronze medal.


"I was in my little funk," said Carmelo Anthony of being depressed over riding the bench in Olympics. (Dusan Vranic -- AP)

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"I would play my [video] games, and hope and pray that it would be over with," he said in yesterday's editions of the Denver Post. "I was in my little funk. I didn't want to be involved with nobody."

The former Syracuse star said things started going wrong for him in the first game, a 92-73 loss to Puerto Rico.

"People were looking at me like I was selfish and I was only thinking about myself," he said.

He said getting benched was a shock after being a high school all-American, an NCAA champion with Syracuse as a freshman and a rookie standout with the Nuggets.

"That would affect anybody," Anthony told the newspaper. "I'm not saying I'm the greatest player in the world, but I've never sat on nobody's bench."

He said he respects Coach Larry Brown, whose Detroit Pistons won the NBA title this year, but thinks the U.S. team would have done better if it had played looser.

"He still makes mistakes," Anthony said. "We weren't the Detroit Pistons. We didn't have 90 games to play together. We had two weeks."

Still, Anthony said he would like to play in the 2008 Olympics.

"I got unfinished business to take care of," he said.

-- From News Services


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