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Basketballer Anthony seeks US unity in Rio despite tensions back home

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - The US basketball team have the opportunity at the Rio Olympics to show that their country is united rather than divided, team leader Carmelo Anthony said Thursday.

Anthony, who makes his fourth Olympic appearance in Rio de Janeiro, has previously called on other athletes to be politically active on issues that have been roiling the United States, such as police violence and race.

New York Knicks player Anthony and Golden State Warrior Kevin Durant are the only two US team members with previous Olympic experience.

"From a career standpoint, this is a major step for me and the guys to come on here and represent our country, especially during times where so much is going on back in our country," he told reporters.

The team would "represent our country and be united and show the rest of the world that we are united, regardless of what‘s going on," he added.

The US have won 14 out of 17 Olympic tournaments, and they plan to improve that record in Brazil, where they will play their first match Saturday against China.

"My goal is to lead this team to a gold medal and enjoy the process and enjoy the journey," Anthony said.

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