Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Current NBA free agent Carmelo Anthony wanted to play for USA Basketball during the 2019 FIBA World Cup but had his request denied.
USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said Wednesday that Anthony asked for an opportunity to play with the team through a representative. Colangelo believed it was time for both parties to move on and declined the request.
"I love Carmelo," Colangelo told reporters. "He made a great contribution. He was a very good international player. But for where we are and what we're doing, that conceivably could have been a distraction. I understand why the request was made. He's trying to reestablish himself. I think that has to be done in the [NBA]."
Anthony, 35, is a three-time Olympic gold medalist but has struggled to latch on to an NBA team. He played only 10 games with the Houston Rockets last season before the franchise dismissed him from the team in November and traded him to the Chicago Bulls in January.
The Bulls waived Anthony in February and he remained unsigned for the remainder of the season.