When the likes of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade went with Team USA to the 2004 Olympics, they just had one season of NBA experience with them. All three were a part of the extremely promising 2003 Draft Class and were among the top five picks.
But they had to be patient for game time at the Olympics. The team had more veteran players like Alen Iverson, Richard Jefferson, Shawn Marion, and others. Anthony and James were far from happy about being on the bench. He and LeBron made a pact that they would not make practice easy for the likes of Jefferson and Marion.
“When we made that pact it was just like, ‘What? They’re playing in front of us? Really?’ That was me and Bron’s mentality,” he said. “But then, we used to go to practice, and in practice that was our games.
“We used to huddle up before practice and be like, ‘Yo listen. Let’s go to war. We want to smoke today. If they ain’t ready to play today, it’s on.’”
Anthony further went on to say that the situation back then was far from easy for juniors to settle alongside veterans.
“You gotta think the vets back then they were arrogant,” Melo said. “They wasn’t like, ‘I got you young’un. I got you, I’mma take care of you.’ It was not. You out there by yourself.”
Carmelo Anthony & LeBron James went on to have great careers
The 2004 Olympics might have finished with a bronze medal for the USA, but all three youngsters then- LeBron, Carmelo, and Wade– would go on to have a great career. Anthony has been a part of 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympics in Beijing, London, and Rio respectively. USA won the gold medal in all three events. James, meanwhile, was a part of two of them.
17 seasons into their NBA careers, both Anthony and James have been star players. Anthony has played for the likes of Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets.
During the 2019/20 season, he joined Portland Trail Blazers to play alongside Damian Lillard. James is currently playing for Los Angeles Lakers after two stints at Cleveland Cavaliers and one at Miami Heat. Both would certainly become Hall of Famers in the future.