You can’t really define funky, you just know it when you see it. I’m not talking about the musty odoriferousness of a Flatbush Avenue dollar van, but that unquantifiable quality of cool, magnetic, hypnotizing brilliance that only a true artist can conjure.
The funk drips from a Pete Rock beat, a Rick James cut or a James Brown drum riff, as it does on a Michael Jordan or Dominique Wilkins rim-wrecker, a Rod Strickland lay-in off the glass with some cue ball English or a Kenny Anderson boom-bap that leaves defenders weak in the knees.
You simply know it when you see it. The uneducated among us will drone on about Carmelo Anthony not being worthy of his superstar billing. But that’s simply nonsense. The intelligent student of the game understands that NBA rings are a byproduct of organizational excellence, exceptional coaching and the quality of one’s surrounding talent.
Melo simply hasn’t had the best of those world’s during his NBA tenure, but over the course of his Olympic career, even Ray Charles can see that we’ve been treated to one of the world’s most exceptional talents and his unique brand of Machine Gun Funk.
Anthony is the first player to be named to four U.S. Olympic mens teams, earning Gold in 2008 and 2012, and Bronze in 2004. Unless Team USA miraculously falls out of contention, Melo will become only the third man to earn four Olympic basketball medals, joining Gennady Volnov and Sergey Belov of the Soviet Union.
In the 2012 London Games, he set the USA men’s Olympic team record for most points in a single game when he scored 37 points against Nigeria. the crazy part is that he pumped in those 37 points in only 14 minutes of action.
By halftime of last night’s 113-69 win over Argentina, in his U.S. record 25th Olympic game, Melo’s ten points, along with Kevin Durant’s 11 in the first half, helped Team USA jog into the locker room with a 22-point lead.
Anthony surpassed Michael Jordan to become the third all-time leading scorer in U.S. men’s Olympic basketball history and he is now just 12 points away from setting the all-time mark. He finished with 14 points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block.
Paul George came off the bench to score a team-high 20 points, while KD put up 16 points while collecting two rebounds and four assists. The squad’s bench poured in 70 points.
Team USA improved to 2-0 in Rio and will face unbeaten Australia on Wednesday in Group A showdown.