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While Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, and Dwyane Wade enjoyed graceful ascents into the NBA afterlife, 10-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony’s excruciating exodus has been anything but.

After an ugly divorce with the New York Knicks in 2017, a short-lived fling with the Oklahoma City Thunder soon after, and a 10-game tryst with the Houston Rockets in which neither side will admit they were catfished, the one-time basketball demigod is slowly coming to the realization that instead of a cushy retirement, the only thing waiting for him is the embarrassment of full-fledged exile.

And if you thought Team USA was an option, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo will happily tell you otherwise.

Sports Illustrated reports that in a call that probably included more “Baby, I’m begging, baby, I’m begging, begging, baby”’s than Jodeci’s entire catalog, the 35-year-old refugee pleaded to join Team USA this summer so that he’d finally have somewhere to take his son for Take Your Child to Work Day.

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SPOILER WARNING: It didn’t end well.

From Sports Illustrated:

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Carmelo Anthony expressed interest in playing for USA Basketball during the 2019 FIBA World Cup, USA Basketball Managing Director Jerry Colangelo told SI.com, but was told the team was moving forward with a new group.

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Damn.

In an interview on Wednesday, Colangelo expressed deep respect and appreciation for Anthony’s contributions to USA Basketball. The 2016 USA Basketball Co-Male Athlete of the Year, Anthony is arguably the greatest player in USA Basketball history. Anthony won a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics, following it up by helping the U.S. to three consecutive gold’s in ’08, ’12 and ’16.

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He did all that and they still wouldn’t let him play? Damn.

“I love Carmelo,” Colangelo said. “He made a great contribution. He was a very good international player. But for where we are and what we’re doing, that conceivably could have been a distraction. I understand why the request was made. He’s trying to reestablish himself. I think that has to be done in the [NBA].”

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A distraction? Damn!

I’m not gonna act like I’ve ever been the biggest Carmelo Anthony fan, but this is a gruesome way to watch a future Hall of Famer go out. Hopefully, he latches on with a team and is able to enjoy his much-deserved farewell tour like other players. But if I was a betting man, we’ll probably see Colin Kaepernick back on the field again before Carmelo ever touches another basketball court.

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