View Full Version : Melo to Olympic team, Hamilton and Wallace say no. Redd next

06-23-2004, 01:20 AM

Carmelo Anthony will be going to Athens. Ben Wallace and Rip Hamilton will not.

Anthony, the Denver Nuggets' rookie, will accept an invitation to join the U.S. Olympic basketball team, NBA sources told ESPN.com.

It is also believed that Milwaukee's Michael Redd will be issued an invitation.

The decision to invite Anthony was a significant change for the selection committee, amid lobbying from fellow rookie LeBron James, among others. Some committee members had initially feared that there would be little playing time available for Anthony with James, Richard Jefferson and Shawn Marion essentially playing the same position. Miami's Lamar Odom and Dwyane Wade were apparently selected before Anthony because of their ballhandling abilities.

But sources close to Anthony said he was pleased to finally receive the call and accepted instantly, after lashing out at the selection process earlier this month.

Earlier in the day, Pistons teammates Wallace and Hamilton declined invitations, sources said. That opened the door for Anthony.

USA Basketball was hoping Wallace and Hamilton would fill the final two spots on its roster, especially since Pistons coach Larry Brown is coaching the Americans. But both players have expressed concerns about security in Greece.

Wallace and Hamilton were among five players USAB had targeted to complete its 12-man squad. Cleveland's Carlos Boozer and the Miami duo of Wade and Odom accepted their invitations.

San Antonio's Tim Duncan and Philadelphia's Allen Iverson are the only original members from Team USA's "core" group of nine players who kept their roster spots. Five players were officially named in the first wave of replacements: Cleveland's James, New York's Stephon Marbury, New Jersey's Jefferson, and the Phoenix tandem of Marion and Amare Stoudemire.

Marbury is the only recognized point guard in that group, but Wade and Odom join James and Iverson in a group of combo guards who can handle the ball.

Sacramento's Mike Bibby, Houston-bound Tracy McGrady, Indiana's Jermaine O'Neal and the L.A. Lakers' Karl Malone are "core" members of the original roster who have formally pulled out for various reasons, be it injury or security fears or simply a desire for offseason rest.

The Lakers' Kobe Bryant, New Jersey's Jason Kidd and Seattle's Ray Allen were earlier withdrawals from the core group, which was assembled during the 2002-03 season in hopes of establishing continuity before heading to Athens.

The Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal, Minnesota's Kevin Garnett, Toronto's Vince Carter, New Jersey's Kenyon Martin and the L.A. Clippers' Elton Brand also have declined invitations, with reasons ranging from injuries (Kidd and Brand) to weddings (Garnett and Carter) to childbirth (Allen).

06-23-2004, 01:23 AM
I don't like how the main "stars" of the league are all turning this down (with some due to injury like JO, but most not). Show some pride, and gang up on the opposition to prove which country is the king of bball.

That aside, I love how this is becoming a youth movement now (as opposed to a mix and match). Hopefully this generation of good/great players stick together and win 2 or 3 metals together.

06-23-2004, 01:28 AM
I can understand why players want their summers off after the long NBA season. Some need it for various reasons (Kidd, O'Neal, Kobe). Fact is, the U.S. team should still mop the floor with the competition if they play as a team. I understand the desire to see our absolute best compete but it's almost like someone where you work complains that you should give up your vacation to be there.

06-23-2004, 01:31 AM
I can understand Rip and Ben having issues about security for their families, but part of me is glad theyre not going. They need a rest after playing all damn year.

06-23-2004, 01:31 AM
I see your pont, but then if I were earning an Olympic Gold medal for showing up for work for a couple weeks during the summer, I'd probably do it.

06-23-2004, 01:33 AM
They need a rest after playing all damn year.

They do. JO has played for how many summers now? Ben for how many? Playing year round takes it toll physically as well as mentally. It's hard to see someone say "no" but sometimes it has to be done.

06-23-2004, 01:41 AM
"Houston-bound Tracy McGrady"

06-23-2004, 09:08 AM
I wanted to see Artest be given an invitation.