Carmelo Anthony recently revealed a pact he made with LeBron James in the summer of 2004. Team USA attended the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens with an alternative team that failed to get the gold, changing the way USA Basketball picked its player for international tournaments.
Melo talked with UNINTERRUPTED to describe the pact he made with James. Shawn Marion and Richard Jefferson played ahead of him and Bron, which made the young players angry.
“They’re playing in front of us? Really?’ That was me and Bron’s mentality," Melo said.
As to that, Jefferson replied saying Melo wasn't ready for that stage. RJ did say he wasn't either but also saying all they three weren't even part of the top 30 players that got selected to play in the Olympics.
“Carmelo is the greatest USA men’s basketball player internationally that this country has ever seen,” Jefferson added. “So I’m not going to look at him and disrespect him. I’m not going to disrespect our careers, but even if you go back and look at the next three times we played against each other, the very first game we played against each other, I had to go back and look at the stats because I saw the clip.
“I had 26 (points) and 11 (rebounds) and held Carmelo to nine points. So Carmelo was not ready at the time. Now I understand he was in his first or second year, and his career is far greater than mine. That’s not the conversation. But in that moment, at that time, Carmelo wasn’t ready, I truly wasn’t ready.”
He also recalled that players like Tracy McGrady, Ray Allen, Jason Kidd or Mike Bibby opted not to play in the tournament, which led to USA Basketball to send an alternative team to Greece.
“They weren’t even in the top 30 of people that were selected," Jefferson said on ESPN's The Jump.
That team didn't live up to the expectations and failed to win the tournament. Now we know there were a lot of things happening there that ultimately led them to fail in Athens.