Melo playing for Puerto Rico?
NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - November 28, 2018 - 12:00am

With his NBA career in limbo, Carmelo Anthony is not exactly wanting in finances. Forbes listed his total net worth at above $100 million from salaries and endorsements. Last year, he renewed his deal with Nike’s Jordan Brand in which he had 13 models. Aside from the shoe brand, Melo also earns by representing Samsung, Sprint Mobile, PowerAde and Footlocker among others.

In his single misfit season with Oklahoma, Melo earned $26 million.  Sent to Atlanta for a total of 27 days, he earned $25.5 million. There was hope of a perfect fit in Houston but after 13 games and 94 days, they parted ways and he received $182,000.

Melo was born in the projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York to a Puerto Rican father and an Afro-American mother.  His father, Carmelo Iriarte, died of cancer when he was only two years old and he and his siblings were brought up by their mother. 

Because of his father’s roots, Melo had been spending some time in Puerto Rico and supports charitable programs in the small Caribbean island. Thru his Carmelo Anthony Foundation, he has built and remodelled basketball courts around the island. But for the moment, their national team reportedly has no practice facility and in need of funding largely due to a recent hurricane that devastated the small island nation.

Despite this, Puerto Rico’s basketball federation president Yum Ramos is inviting Melo to play for them and has his number 15 jersey ready and reserved for him. “I’m a big fan of Carmelo not only as a basketball player but more importantly, as one of our Puerto Rican heroes. He and his foundation have done a lot to Puerto Rico. I think along with JJ Barea, he could make a huge impact on the team and help lift the spirits of our country,” Ramos said. 

Barrea, who is also actively involved in the relief efforts for his country added, “With his connection to Puerto Rico, his NBA stardom and his experiences, our fans would love it. We tried a bunch to get him in the past, but of course nobody blamed him for playing for Team USA. But if he ever wants a chance to represent us, it would be awesome to have him.”

There’s no word from Melo of his interest to play for Puerto Rico but if he does decides, he needs to secure clearance from USA Basketball which could be easy considering his roots. He is USAB’s all-time Olympic scoring leader with 336 points.

Imagine a Puerto Rican national team core with legit NBA players Mo Harkless (POR), Shabazz Napier (BKN) and Jonathan Isaac (ORL) joining Melo and Barrea. And there’s also Renaldo Balkman.

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