It seems everyone wants a piece of
National Basketball Association superstar Carmelo Anthony these days. The
latest to want Anthony’s services is the country of Puerto Rico.
Carmelo Anthony has played for the
United States last two Olympic teams but Puerto Rico hopes that the Nuggets
star could help them qualify for the 2012 Olympics. President of the Puerto
Rican Basketball Federation Carlos Beltran states Anthony is a prime target for
the side heading into the New Year.
“Carmelo is a future plan because
right now we don’t do anything to get Carmelo,” Beltran said. “That is a
decision of Carmelo. But everybody knows that he has Puerto Rican roots. Maybe
in the near future it’s a possibility.”
Anthony’s father, Carmelo Sr., was
Puerto Rican. Puerto Rico’s national team made waves recently by hiring
Louisville coach Rick Pitino to guide its squad.
For Anthony the Puerto Rico
national basketball team is the latest squad seeking to sign him. Most of the
NBA contenders such as the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks have expressed
an interest in Anthony.
Despite Beltran’s wishes current
rules prohibit Anthony from actually participating with the Puerto Rican
national team. Beltran said he hoped for an exception, but it is unclear
whether Anthony even has interest in joining the team.
“Once you play for a national team
at a FIBA event (or a major international event) you’re only able to play for
that country unless the nation divides (like USSR and Yugoslavia did),” USA
Basketball spokesman Craig Miller said.