USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said Thursday that he turned down Carmelo Anthony's request to play for Team USA in the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

According to SI.com's Chris Mannix, Colangelo said he felt it was time to move forward: "I love Carmelo. 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 is an NBA free agent, as the 35-year-old has gone unsigned since the Chicago Bulls waived him in February. He last played for the Houston Rockets, who traded him in January.

 

Colangelo said one of Anthony's representatives reached out to let USA Basketball know that Melo had interest in playing for the team.

Anthony is one of the most accomplished players in the history of USA Basketball. He has won four Olympic medals (three gold and one bronze), a World Championship bronze medal and a FIBA Americas Championship gold medal.