Carmelo Anthony is enjoying himself in Rio while continuing his humanitarian tour

Instagram Photo

While his team’s basketball play hasn’t been particularly artful, Carmelo Anthony hasn’t let that stop him from creating art in Rio de Janeiro. The man looking to lead the U.S. men’s basketball team to the Olympic title, and his third gold medal, took a tour of the favelas this week in Brazil and blessed the people quite a bit.

Decked out in all red, he played some ball with local kids. In two minutes of play, he managed two rebounds, two assists and got beat backside for a layup. Most shockingly, he put up no shots. The video then takes an interesting turn and cuts away to a Snapchat clip of a guy painting a mural of Anthony with the caption, “Blessing the favela with a mural of myself!!!” In the clip, Anthony says, “Only other person is Michael Jackson who been up here, man.”

Well, for one, that just can’t be true. I have to believe that rapper Snoop Dogg and/or Pharrell both found a way to get murals painted for them when they were shooting the Beautiful music video back in the day. The favelas might not necessarily have been where they were on location, but I’ll bet that clout extended into the poverty-stricken zones. “The love is real in the favelas,” Anthony says in another Snapchat clip.

In all seriousness, this video is pretty impressive. But I still want to know how this mural came about. Did he roll up and just say, “I need a mural of myself, stat”? Or did an aspiring artist who recognized the New York Knicks guard ask him if he would like one dedicated to him? The streets back home in the U.S. need to know.

Either way, we love that Anthony is doing more than just sitting on the boat or running around the Olympic Village. He’s had a great summer of activism. He bailed out his team in a game it probably should have lost against Australia and now he’s genuinely reaching out to the people of the Summer Games’ host nation. For a tournament in which people have talked about and treated Brazilians like they’re diseased animals and dangerous criminals only worthy of scorn, Anthony is keeping up his streak of being a touching human.

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