Carmelo Anthony honored to follow in Kobe Bryant's footsteps as Fiba World Cup ambassador | Inquirer Sports

Carmelo Anthony honored to follow in Kobe Bryant’s footsteps as Fiba World Cup ambassador

/ 07:35 PM February 24, 2023

Team USA legend and NBA star Carmelo Anthony during his introduction as Fiba Basketball World Cup 2023 ambassador at Smart Araneta Coliseum. –SBP/FIBA PHOTO

Team USA legend and NBA star Carmelo Anthony during his introduction as Fiba Basketball World Cup 2023 ambassador at Smart Araneta Coliseum. –SBP/FIBA PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Carmelo Anthony is honored to be one of the Fiba World Cup 2023 global ambassadors, just like his fellow Team USA legend, the late Kobe Bryant four years ago.

Anthony, a winner of three Olympic gold medals, was introduced as Fiba’s newest ambassador on Friday, joining Pau Gasol and Luis Scola for the world championship in August in Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia.

The 38-year-old NBA superstar, who is having fun on his first visit to Manila, hopes to follow in the footsteps of his fellow 2008 Redeem Team member, Bryant, as a World Cup global ambassador.

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“It’s special to kinda follow what Kobe has created on the global scale of basketball. Him being an ambassador previously and being our friendship and our brotherhood and what we created over the years,” said Anthony during his formal introduction at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“For me to just follow and continue and keep that legacy going not just for myself and not just for US but also for him too,” he added.

Bryant visited Manila on several occasions, showing his love to Filipino fans.

“I’m sure he would have definitely been here with me, watching these games, coming over to the Philippines and enjoying himself. For me, I can continue a part of his legacy but also establish what I have to establish for myself on a global scale,” Anthony said.

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And it’s a great honor for Anthony to be introduced as a global ambassador at the Big Dome, where Bryant’s picture was immortalized at the rafters when he last visited the country in 2016.

“Having somebody like my brother Kobe who raved about the Philippines and kept telling me ‘you have to get there, they love you’ and now I took him up and now to be sitting across from here his mural right in front of me, it says a lot and it means a lot,” he said.

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THILLA IN MANILA

The 10-time NBA All-Star is also a big Muhammad Ali fan, making him relish being in the Big Dome, where the Thrilla in Manila between Ali and Joe Frazier was held.

“I felt I was Ali walking in here. I’m like one of the biggest Ali fans. The way that you love basketball here, I love Ali,” Anthony said. “For me, to come into this Arena and knowing and understanding the history that took place in this building with him in Thrilla in Manila puts a lot of things in perspective for me. I’ll check this off my bucket list.”

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Anthony also graced the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers match between Gilas and Lebanon at Philippine Arena, where he also presented the Naismith trophy.

TAGS: Carmelo Anthony, Fiba World Cup, Kobe Bryant

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