NEW YORK, USA – New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony believes a summer spent helping the United States win Olympic gold has left him in prime form heading into the new NBA season next month.
The 32-year-old was a key figure for the USA in Rio de Janeiro, winning a record third men's basketball gold in his fourth Olympics.
Anthony told reporters on Monday, September 26 (Tuesday in Manila) that he is fitter than he has been for years following the successful USA campaign in Brazil.
"I feel in the best shape I've felt in a long time due to the fact that I was able to play a lot of basketball and train throughout the summer," Anthony said during the Knicks' media day.
"Being around some of the best players in the world, playing against some of the best players in the world. That gave me an opportunity to come to this training camp ready to go.
"I'm excited. I haven't felt like this in a long time, coming into training camp."
As well as satisfaction with his own conditioning, Anthony is also encouraged by the arrival of heavyweight talent in the off-season including Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, both from Chicago.
"I don't think there's been this type of excitement around the team since I've been here," said Anthony, who will be starting his seventh season with the Knicks after joining the club in 2011.
The fiercely competitive Noah had already made an impression on the Knicks veteran.
"He's a character. He's very intense, very emotional. You can see that in the workouts, in the gym, in the weight room," Anthony said.
"The focus level is at an all time high."
Anthony, an outspoken voice on social injustice this year following the shooting deaths of several African-American men at the hands of law enforcement, also addressed the fatalities in Oklahoma and North Carolina last week which led to violent rioting.
Anthony said he believed the situation would "continue to get worse."
"We're in still in the same stage. Things are getting worse and it will continue to get worse. We still have to keep the conversations going," Anthony said.
The players said he was not sure what action if any the Knicks would take in response to the latest killings.
"I'm pretty sure we would do something. It's just a matter of what that is. We wanna do it in the right the way. We want to do it all together," he said. – Rappler.com