Former Syracuse star and current New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony won his second gold medal as Team USA defeated Spain, 107-100, in the Olympic Championship in London, England.
“For us to persevere the way we did, it’s a just a special moment for myself, for the guys that were on this team, for all the work that we put in and the commitment that we made to get where we are at right now,” Anthony said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game coming in tonight. Spain, they didn’t quit; very, very physical game. It came down to us making plays.”
Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim was also a member of the team, as an assistant coach under USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
“It’s a great honor to do that, and everybody knows you are playing for your country,” Boeheim said. “You talk about the Olympic spirit, everybody has that here. You watch all these other athletes, they are all here playing for their country and, especially when you see all these NBA players who make millions and millions of dollars coming over here to play it obviously means something to them.”
Anthony scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds in 21 minutes. The Americans were led by Kevin Durant’s 30 points and nine rebounds, while Lebron James chipped in 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
The United States led 83-82 after third quarters and held just a six-point lead with 3:41 remaining. But James scored on a dunk and a 3-pointer, and Chris Paul hit a layup with the shot clock expiring as the Team USA putting the game out of reach by opening up a 104-93 lead.
“There were times where Chris Paul stepped up big for us; LeBron stepped up; (Durant) was outstanding from the three-point line,” Anthony said. “It took a couple of little things – rebounding, just buckling down for about four or five minutes out there in the fourth quarter for us to break the game open.”
Pau Gasol led Spain with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, as Spain finished with silver for the second straight Olympic games.
Russia defeated Argentina 81-77 in the bronze medal game.
“It’s a great win and it was fun to be part of it,” Boeheim said. “It’s not that easy to win an Olympic gold medal and these guys helped us win two.”