Much debate was made of Carmelo Anthony statements regarding his lack of NBA Championships, but at the same time holding 2 Gold Medals (Anthony captured his 3rd Gold on Sunday)
Anthony full quote exactly:
“Most athletes don’t have an opportunity to say that they won a gold medal, better yet three gold medals, I would be very happy walking away from the game knowing that I’ve given the game everything I have, knowing I played on a high level at every level: high school, college, won [a championship at Syracuse] in college and possibly three gold medals.
“I can look back on it when my career is over — if I don’t have an NBA championship ring — and say I had a great career.”
Anthony caught a lot of flak for the comments, many critics felt the comments shows a lack of hunger Anthony posses to get an NBA championship or that even a Gold Medal hold more weight than an NBA championship itself.
DeAndre Jordan who also is currently ring-less chimed in on the topic
Jordan full quote:
“I think they’re above NBA rings, I may get in trouble for saying that, but I believe that. I feel like this is more special.
You’re not just playing teams in the U.S. You’re playing teams from all over the world. And this is even more special because there’s an NBA champion crowned every year, but this is every four years.
“You’ve got to really think about that, man, because it’s extremely special.”
In my opinion, you are not able to look at an Olympic Gold Medal and NBA Championship the same. Achieving a Team Championship is the highest honor in Sports. While yes, the Gold Medal is a team accomplishment, but it includes 12 of the best Players in World.
Your NBA Team includes likely 1 or 2 Superstars (unless your the Golden State Warriors) and; then, a collection of role players, rookies, and players trying to get one last pay-check before hanging it up. Grinding out an 82-game schedule and then 4-play-off series to hold the NBA trophy is more grueling than an 8-game tournament vs the rest of the World.
Any time a player retires, themselves, and fans alike, look at how many Championship they won, and not how many Gold Medals they have.
Players like Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, John Stockton and Charles Barkley, who was on the Dream Team all failed to win an NBA Championship in their careers, and I am certain all have regrets over not winning a Championship and likely their Gold Medal suffice that feeling.
It’s not to say winning a Gold Medal doesn’t matter, but it just can’t be placed on the same pedestal as an NBA Championship.
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