Carmelo Anthony says the US Olympic team of NBA stars was not trying to send a message to the original Dream Team when it scored the most points in a game in Olympic history in routing Nigeria 156-73.
But the Americans clearly sent a message to the basketball world on Thursday with an incredible shooting performance — this team has bigger dreams than the 1992 originals and the skill to make them come true.
“We’re not thinking about what the ’92 Dream Team did,” Anthony said. “We don’t play them. We understand the standard those guys set. We’re doing our own thing. We play for ourselves.”
Anthony scored a game-high 37 points on 10-of-12 shooting from 3-point range, all of those figures setting US Olympic team records on a night when every American player scored and the team hit 59-of-83 shots, 71 percent.
“Just an incredible shooting performance,” US coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “We just shot better in a game than any team I have ever coached. Our guys just couldn’t miss.”
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who had 16 points, had called out the 1992 Dream Team before the Olympics, saying this year’s squad could beat them in a game. But he was more guarded in his words after the epic triumph.
“It feels great to be part of history. There have been a lot of great teams who have come to the Olympics and posted some big scores,” Bryant said. “It was an acknowledgement to each other that it was a job well done being part of it.”