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MavsFanFinley
04-13-2002, 10:09 PM
Stern says plenty of talent available to fill national team

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- NBA commissioner David Stern says the league has enough talented American players to make up for a shortage of superstars on the U.S. national team.

Ten of the 12 roster spots have been filled for this summer's World Championships, and some of the league's best known American players -- Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Allen Iverson -- have shown little or no interest in playing.

"At a certain level, I'd like to have everyone banging down our door," Stern said Thursday. "But we haven't been pushing particularly hard because there's such a big pool of talent."

USA Basketball selection committee chairman Stu Jackson said he was pleased with the caliber of players who have already decided to play for the United States in the tournament that will be held Aug. 29-Sept. 8 in Indianapolis.

Jason Kidd, Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, Michael Finley, Shawn Marion, Antonio Davis, Jermaine O'Neal, Paul Pierce, Raef LaFrentz and Andre Miller have been named to the team, with Duke guard Jason Williams selected as an alternate.

Two more roster spots, along with one alternate, remain to be filled. George Karl of the Milwaukee Bucks will be the coach.

NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik, the former president of USA Basketball, said it is more difficult to put together a team for the Worlds than it would be for the Olympics.

"It is an issue that a lot of our players and most American basketball fans don't really understand what the World Championship is. That's why we were interested in getting the event in the United States because people will see what an important competition this is," Granik said. "It certainly doesn't have the same attraction as the Olympics does. FIBA (the international governing body for men's basketball) would like it to be like the World Cup, and hopefully this will be a start."

Several NBA players will be competing for foreign teams in the 16-nation field, including six players from the Dallas Mavericks.

In addition to LaFrentz and Finley, Steve Nash will play for Canada, Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Bradley for Germany and Wang Zhizhi for China.

China can play a front line of the 7-foot Wang, 7-foot-6 center Yao Ming -- expected to be a top lottery pick in this June's NBA draft -- and 6-foot-11 Menk Bateer of the Denver Nuggets.

Yugoslavia, the European champion, has a front line that includes NBA players Predrag Drobnjak and Vladimir Radmanovic of Seattle, and Zeljko Rebraca and Ratko Varda of Detroit, along with shooting guard Peja Stojakovic of Sacramento, an NBA All-Star.

Other NBA players expected to play in the tournament include Pau Gasol of Spain, Todd MacCulloch of Canada, Hedo Turkoglu of Turkey, and Andrei Kirilenko of Russia.

Stern, speaking on a conference call with reporters, also said the NBA will not stage any exhibition games outside of Canada and the United States next fall during the preseason.

scooterj5
04-14-2002, 03:04 AM
Australia would crush the US team had we qualified i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif

Drbio
04-14-2002, 12:13 PM
Australia wouldn't beat a US high school all star team.i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif


Nice to see the Mavs putting up 6 world class players.

MavsFanFinley
04-14-2002, 10:48 PM
LOL Doc, that was cold.

I was thinking along the same lines, but didn't post it.

I might be alone in thinking this, but Im kinda glad some of those guys declined. It's going to be nice to see players get some spotlight that are worthy of it, but don't get the chance to show it with those other players mentioned.

Drbio
04-14-2002, 11:04 PM
I agree...fresh faces will be nice to root for.


And I hope he knows I was kidding....i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif

DTL
04-14-2002, 11:22 PM
Germany, US, and China are all in the same first-round group. Are these games going to be televised at all? Would love to see Dirk, Wang, and LaFrentz dueling it out i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif

MavsFanFinley
04-15-2002, 01:06 AM
ESPN will be showing all the games, I believe. I think I read that at the official site.

It will be cool to see the Mavericks going against each other.

I can't wait.

scooterj5
04-15-2002, 05:00 AM
I'm playing in a series against a touring US high school team later in the year, they might even be from Texas someone says. I'll let you guys know

Drbio
04-15-2002, 07:06 AM
scooter- cool. Let us know when the wounds heal.i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif

MFFL
04-15-2002, 11:33 PM
I think the Mavs will represent themselves well on the world stage (except maybe Bradley) i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif