Carmelo Anthony could still compete in Olympic Games -- for Puerto Rico

No other man in the world has three Olympic gold medals in basketball. Carmelo Anthony went out on top with Team USA in Rio, Brazil, having stood in the highest spot on the podium a record trio of times in Olympic basketball. Anthony also announced that he would subsequently retire from the USA team. Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who led the USA team to all those triumphs, doesn't receive medals, but he also is leaving the team as a winner.

However, there is still a chance Anthony could compete in future Olympic games, since he is eligible through his father, Carmelo Iriarte, to play for Puerto Rico. Anthony's father died when the basketball star was only two, before Anthony could ever go with him to visit family members there. The island territory has competed in the Olympic Games since 1948.

Olympic bylaws state that any player eligible for two nations who represents one at first in the Olympics must wait a minimum of three years before representing another nation. That would seem to make Anthony eligible to play for Puerto Rico in Tokyo 2020 and there are plenty of fans who would love to see him do it. Though he visited the island briefly in 2002 and apparently considered playing for Puerto Rico then, Anthony, opted instead to debut for the U.S. in 2002 for the junior world nationals. In 2004, Anthony was on the USA team that lost to Puerto Rico in the Olympics, in what some consider the island's greatest basketball moment.

Anthony, whose wife, Lala, is Puerto Rican, has already reached out a helping hand to Puerto Rico sports in the past, investing in a soccer team, Puerto Rico F.C. and building basketball courts on the island with his foundation.

Three years off from world basketball tournaments is plenty of time for an athlete to decide if his international competitive fire still burns. The New York Knicks forward may decide to focus solely on his NBA career, or he may choose to represent his island roots. Puerto Rico has never won an Olympic medal in basketball and failed to qualify for the Rio Games this year.

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