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Olympics Notes: Anthony, Popovich, Jokic

After capturing his third gold medal, the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony confirmed that his international career is complete, relays Sam Amick of USA Today. Anthony played on the 2004 team that settled for bronze before being part of the last three gold medal winners. He holds Team USA career records for games played and points scored, and today moved into the lead in total rebounds. “As much as I’m going to miss it, it’s time to pass it on to some of the guys who were on the team this year, and also the younger guys [not on the team],” he said after today’s win over Serbia in the gold medal contest. Anthony said he and his teammates “locked in” after some close games early in the competition.

There’s more news out of Rio on the final day of the Summer Olympics:

  • Anthony was the only basketball player nominated to be named Male Athlete of the Games for the United States, tweets Chris Washburn of The Boston Globe. The other nominees were swimmer Michael Phelps, cyclist Connor Fields, wrestler Kyle Snyder and runner Matthew Centrowitz Jr.
  • Gregg Popovich will take over as the next coach of Team USA, but he might have had the job years ago if not for the disappointing performance of the 2004 Olympic team, writes Jackie MacMullen of ESPN.com. Popovich was an assistant to Larry Brown on that team, which brought home a bronze medal from Athens. “We didn’t have a chance to build a team,” Brown says. “We threw those kids into a terrible situation. Pop and I talk about it all the time. I say to him, ‘What could I have done better?’ What I hate most about it is I think it cost Pop his chance at the job.” In the wake of that outing, Jerry Colangelo, head of USA Basketball, picked Duke’s Mike Krzyzewksi to be the new national team coach and started a rift with Popovich that lasted until he was offered the job last spring.
  • Serbia’s Nikola Jokic cemented his reputation as a rising star with his Olympic performance, according to Jonathan Huang of NBA.com. The 21-year-old Nuggets center had a memorable Olympics, including 25 points in an early matchup with Team USA, as he helped his nation reach the gold medal game.

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