Everyone has things they want to do before their time is done and Carmelo Anthony is no exception. For a basketball player, surely winning awards and championships are up there, but Melo told Sam Amick of USA TODAY that visiting a favela was on his bucket list after seeing them portrayed in “City of God,” a movie from 2002 that was set in one of Rio’s favelas.
“I watched ‘City of God’ almost 100 times, and it’s very, very accurate,” said Melo to USA TODAY Sports. “This was on my bucket list, to be honest with you; specifically to go to the favelas — forever,” continued Anthony. “I just always wanted to see and experience that. Growing up in Baltimore, and knowing what that was like, in my own favela, you know what I mean? So I wanted to go and experience that for myself. I wanted to touch that.”
While touring through the poverty-stricken village, Anthony gave back and hooped with some young kids, followed by being painted in a mural in Santa Marta. As his time there concluded, Melo sat down, in a plastic chair, and posed for an Instagram picture.
As Melo eluded to, he grew up in Baltimore before moving to Virginia to attend Oak Hill Academy, and Baltimore is one of the most violent cities in America according to World Atlas. On their ranking of the most dangerous cities in the world, B-More slides in 19th with a murder rate of 54.98 per 100,000 residents; St. Louis is the most dangerous U.S. city, falling just four spots ahead–the numbers are recent, but Baltimore has been historically bad.
There was no security present with Anthony and his entourage, and the local police don’t have much say in the slums, so Anthony put his faith in the residents of Santa Marta. Even with all the crime that goes on, further justified by the robbery of swimmer Ryan Lochte, Rio doesn’t land on Word Atlas’ list, despite 21 cities in Brazil being there.
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