With Team USA’s victory in the Olympics, and news that Carmelo Anthony is now the first men’s basketball player to win three gold medals, I am still holding out hope that someone (anyone) in the mainstream global sports media will acknowledge that Melo is not just a successful African-American athlete, but also a proud Afro-Latino of Puerto Rican descent.
You would think such a fact would be common knowledge, especially since news of Anthony’s boricua roots isn’t a shocking new discovery. Fans of Puerto Rican basketball have wanted Anthony to play for Puerto Rico ever since his Syracuse days. That dream is even making a comeback after Anthony’s gold medal trifecta with USA Basketball.
“We had Moses Malone, but he was here only two games,” he recalled. “He played a total of only six minutes for us and I think he had one rebound. Then he was traded off. We had Tiny Archibald too, in 1977, but he blew out his [Achilles tendon] in training camp and never played a regular-season game here. Adrian Dantley [was traded after his rookie of the year season]. … By then, Paul Snyder, the Braves’ owner, lost interest and he was just selling off assets.”
The No. 1 draft pick from 2005, Bogut has tasted, by far, the most success from an Australian standpoint: 2015 NBA champion, 2015 NBA All-Defensive second team, 2010 All-NBA third team, 2006 NBA All-Rookie first team.
Having recently been dealt from Golden State Warriors to Dallas Mavericks, Bogut will be a bigger focal point at both ends of the floor and should look to regain the form he possessed in Milwaukee.
He is the quickest Boomers star of all, although Dante Exum may challenge him when healthy, and their go-to player on the international stage. Mills has led the scoring for the Boomers at the past three Olympic Games.
His teammates love playing with him; they love his energy and the way he goes about his game.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is a hard taskmaster but even he has a soft spot for Mills. Boomers assistant coach and former NBA champion Luc Longley interestingly said during the Olympic tournament that Mills was “a first-string point guard or 2 man somewhere in the NBA, he’s just been in a very deep and talented situation in San Antonio”.