View Full Version : 4 Named to Team USA

02-13-2003, 04:05 PM
Duncan, Kidd named to Team USA

February 13, 2003

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Ticker) - Reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs was among the first four players named to Team USA, which will compete in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico this August.

Joining the Spurs forward will be former Olympic gold medalists Ray Allen of the Milwaukee Bucks and Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets. Allen, a shooting guard, and Kidd, a point guard, were members of the 2000 Olympic team that captured the gold medal in Sydney, Australia.

The final member revealed on Thursday was Orlando Magic guard Tracy McGrady, who leads the NBA in scoring.

"It is great for our country, USA Basketball and our league that these four players have made the commitment to play, said Team USA coach Larry Brown. "We're fortunate to have them on this team, as representatives of our country and the NBA. It will be an honor to coach them."

The squad will hope to erase memories of the 2002 World Championships team, which lost three of eight games and finished sixth in the 16-team field in Indianapolis.

In the final game of the second round, Argentina dealt Team USA its first loss in 59 international games with NBA players, never trailing in a convincing 87-80 win. The following night, Yugoslavia ended any chance of the U.S. claiming a medal, rallying in the fourth quarter for a win.

The Americans ended perhaps their most disappointing international performance with another loss, an 81-75 setback to Spain, in the fifth-place game.

Team USA's roster ultimately will consist of eight or nine top NBA players with the remaining roster spots filled by role players who could be professionals or amateurs. If the United States qualifies for the 2004 Olympics as expected, the goal is to keep the majority of the roster intact for the games in to keep the majority of the roster intact for the games in Athens, Greece.

"USA Basketball is thrilled to begin our men's quest for Olympic gold by announcing that Ray Allen, Tim Duncan, Jason Kidd and Tracy McGrady, four of the NBA's most talented players, have accepted our invitation to be part of the USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team," USA basketball president Tom Jernstedt said.

"As we approach the Olympic qualifying tournament this summer, the Senior National Team Committee was focused on naming a solid and versatile team comprised of the best basketball players from our country," said Stu Jackson, who chaired the selection committee. "These four core players are among the elite players in the NBA and we're proud to have them represent USA Basketball as we begin our defense of the Olympic gold medal."

The United States has won gold medals in 12 of the 14 Olympics in which they have participated but need to finish in the top three of the qualifying tournament to earn a spot in the Olympics.

Duncan has never played on an Olympic team but averaged 12.7 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game during the 1999 qualifying tournament.

"I'm excited and looking forward to wearing the USA team uniform again," Duncan said. "It is an honor to represent the United States in this very important international competition. I'm looking forward to playing with a great collection of players on the USA Team and qualifying the United States for the 2004 Olympics."

Allen averaged 9.8 points per game in the 2000 Olympics while Kidd averaged 6.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists in that same tournament.

"I feel honored to be doing this the second time around," Allen said. "It feels like a call to stand up and speak for our nation. It's going to be time to step up internationally and show the world who is best. It is an honor to be one of the guys selected to represent the United States."

"I am very excited to be a member of the USA Basketball Senior National Team," Kidd said. "There can be no greater honor than to represent your country, and I look forward to the international competition this summer."

McGrady has no international experience, but leads the NBA at 30.4 points per game. Just 23, he like Duncan and Kidd, was a first team All-NBA selection last season and a starter in this year's All-Star Game.

"I've grown up watching guys like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, those guys go over there and represent our country and represent it well," McGrady said. "I always wanted to be a part of that so here I am with the opportunity to represent my country, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity."

02-13-2003, 04:06 PM
Bryant not on roster as first four members of U.S. team announced

By CHRIS SHERIDAN, AP Basketball Writer

February 13, 2003

Ray Allen, Tim Duncan, Jason Kidd and Tracy McGrady were the first four players chosen Thursday for the 2004 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team, with Kobe Bryant conspicuously absent -- for now.

The long-awaited announcement was made in Colorado Springs, Colo., by USA Basketball, which said Bryant could be added to the team at a later date once a contractual issue is cleared up.

Bryant is ``very interested'' in playing on the team, the national team organizing committee said. The committee added that he has been asked to play on the team but has yet to sign the organization's standard player contract.

``USA Basketball remains hopeful that he will be added to the roster at a future date,'' the statement said.

Bryant said last month he plans to play on the team, which will compete in the Americas zone qualifying tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in late August.

If the Americans finish among the top three at the qualifier, they will earn a trip to Athens for the 2004 Olympics. The NBA players are looking to atone for their sixth-place showing at last summer's world championships in Indianapolis.

Arn Tellem, the agent for Bryant, did not immediately return a call.

Allen, of the Milwaukee Bucks, and Kidd, of the New Jersey Nets, were members of the Olympic gold medal team in 2000.

Duncan was last season's MVP with the San Antonio Spurs, and McGrady of the Orlando Magic is this season's leading scorer. Duncan was originally named to the 2000 team, but had to withdraw because of injury.

They will be joined by four or five other NBA players when the remainder of the qualifying team roster is announced in the spring. The remainder of American team is expected to include two or three players currently playing overseas or collegiately.

Larry Brown of the Philadelphia 76ers will be the coach.

``It is great for our country, USA Basketball and our league that these four players have made the commitment to play,'' Brown said. ``We're fortunate to have them on this team, as representatives of our country and the NBA. It will be an honor to coach them.''

The qualifying tournament Aug. 20-31 will include 10 teams from North, South and Central America.

Among the stronger teams in the field are Argentina, Canada, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Brazil.

02-13-2003, 04:23 PM
I guess Finley won't make it now. Kobe, McGrady, and Allen all play Finley's position. The team needs another point guard and more front court players.

Sorry Finley i/expressions/face-icon-small-sad.gif

02-13-2003, 04:25 PM
finley would only make it if nellie was the coach...nellie would have him at Power Forward

02-13-2003, 04:32 PM
This really upsets me. Even more than Finley not making the All Star team.

02-13-2003, 04:32 PM
it would be nice to see him sneak in...

02-13-2003, 04:34 PM
I'm right there with you MFFL, I've always held this in the back of my pocket as insurance/consolation for Fin. I'm not giving up hope just yet... but I'll really be dissapointed if hes not chosen.

02-13-2003, 04:39 PM
I guess I'm holding out hope. Just 2 weeks ago David Aldridge was saying that Finley is still a front runner even with the likes of McGrady, Kobe, and Allen being givens. Not that I take DA's word as gospel, I'm just hoping that the media attention is enough for Fin, but I doubt it myself.

I was trying to fool with the possible lineups and wasn't coming up with much.

Centers--Duncan, (Jermaine O'Neil)
Power Forwards--(Webber, Garnett, Brand)
Small Forwards-- (Finley)
Shooting Guards--McGrady, Allen, (Kobe)
Point Guards--Kidd (Francis and/or Payton)

In parenthesis is who I'm guessing will be asked. Instead of Payton, they could go with Marbury. Finley isn't really a small forward, but him and McGrady are most likely the ones able to play both. Kobe can play some point. But, instead of Finley, I think they go with Marion.

It's just that if anyone deserves to return to the Olympics after the World games it's Finley.

Oh, well.

02-13-2003, 04:51 PM
How is it Ray Allen makes it over Fin? I don't know I am not trying to bash Ray but I think if I were the guy or whoever is picking these players I would probaly take Pierce, Fin, or Stackhouse over Ray. Maybe even Jalen Rose.

02-13-2003, 04:53 PM
ray allen is as deserving as fin..they put up similar numbers but allen is a better shooter..
don't sell him short

02-13-2003, 05:07 PM
DA= not talent ass clown
this is the same guy who said AJ will take over next year. Alot of times he does not even no the players on teams rosters. Just because u sound professional does not mean that u have a clue what your saying. Sorry but GW is living proof.

02-13-2003, 05:45 PM
<< finley would only make it if nellie was the coach...nellie would have him at Power Forward >>

Sarcasm. Good for the goose, but not the gander?

02-15-2003, 10:47 AM
Finely deserves to get named to the team, but I wouldn't hold my breath expecting it to happen.