It's too bad Carmel Anthony was drafted on June 26, 2003. He's currently in the midst of an incredible run, with a career 24-points-per-game scoring average and four straight playoff appearances. But his success with the Denver Nuggets has been taken for granted for one reason and one reason only: He's a member of the fabled class of '03. He hasn't won an NBA championship and finals MVP (like Dwyane Wade) or carried 11 pedestrian ballplayers to the finals (like LeBron James). But Denver's small forward is tired of coming up short and is ready to avenge his defeats. His first order of business? Let's just say George Karl won't be pleased.

KING: History shows that guys often suffer injuries after playing international tournaments. Why did you play in the FIBA Americas Championship
Carmelo Anthony: Basketball is basketball. The way I looked at it is I'm going to be working out during tthe summertime. You know, July, August - that's when I start working out. So why not do so with the best players in the world?

What's more important? Winning a gold medal or an NBA championship
The gold medal.

That's an unexpected response
You win for your country. And that stands for a lot more than what a championship does.

You've made the playoffs every year but have yet to win a series. Do you fear these first-round exits might tun into a Tracy McGrady-like string of failures
Nah, I have too much confidence [in my team] to believe that we won't get out of the first round. Right now, everyone knows their roles. This year is different from last year. Everybody came in with a different attitude, a different approach. We're more familiar with each other.

In relation to teammates, Allen Iverson doesn't seem to have a problem with the Nuggets being called "Melo's team."
It's both our team, I can tell you. For a guy like that, who's been in the league 11 years, scoring titles, MVPS - playing with him is just an honor. We got big plans right now [and are] trying to win a championship before he retires.

D-Wade won the chammpionship in 2006; LeBron made the finals last season. Do you feel any added pressure

You can find Carmelo Anthony's answer to this question and more from his interview in the Mar/Apr ‘08 issue of KING Magazine. On newsstands now!