The proud and storied Puerto Rico national basketball team has no apply court docket and little funding within the wake of Hurricane Maria’s devastation, however it stays undaunted and decided to recruit a prodigal son to put on the island nation’s uniform.
If Carmelo Anthony needs a brand new team, Puerto Rico has a No. 15 jersey awaiting him.
Anthony and the Houston Rockets are parting methods, leaving the 10-time All-Star looking for a touchdown spot within the NBA as soon as the franchise waives him.
For Puerto Rico, an affiliation with Anthony, 34, and its national team may go a good distance for the beleaguered island. Officers need Anthony to know: There’s an open invitation.
“Together with his connection to Puerto Rico, his NBA stardom and his experiences, our followers would adore it,” mentioned Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea, who has been a cornerstone of the national team and a tireless advocate within the nation’s aid efforts. “We tried a bunch to get him prior to now, however in fact no one blamed him for taking part in for Team USA. But when he ever needs an opportunity to symbolize us, it might be superior to have him.”
Anthony has had one of the devoted worldwide basketball careers in historical past, profitable three Olympic gold medals and bronze with Team USA earlier than asserting his retirement in 2016. Born in Brooklyn to dad and mom of Puerto Rican descent, Anthony has spent appreciable time within the nation and has been part of charitable pursuits there.
Anthony would want USA Basketball to grant him a waiver to play for Puerto Rico, which might be simply attainable. Anthony stands as Team USA’s all-time Olympic scoring chief with 336 factors. There is no indication that Anthony ever plans to play for Puerto Rico, however federation president Yum Ramos is set to prolong him an invite.
“I am an enormous fan of Carmelo not solely as a basketball participant, however extra importantly as certainly one of our Puerto Rican heroes,” Yum Ramos informed ESPN. “He and his basis have carried out so much for Puerto Rico. I feel together with J.J. Barea, Carmelo may make a big impact on the team and assist raise the spirits of our nation.”
His NBA future is unsure, however Puerto Rico basketball needs certainly one of its most beloved figures to perceive that he nonetheless has a heat embrace and a uniform awaiting with the tiny island nation.