Center says he's not national team's 'best'

Updated: January 26, 2004, 2:37 PM ET
Associated Press

BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro -- Sacramento Kings center Vlade Divac will not play for Serbia-Montenegro at the Athens Olympics, saying he is no longer the best big man on his country's national team.

The 36-year-old Divac told B-92 radio on Monday he has "given enough" to the national team and it's time to leave.

More than a dozen players from Serbia-Montenegro play in the NBA, including Kings star Peja Stojakovic. Serbia-Montenegro, the former Yugoslavia, is a favorite to make the Olympic final against the United States.

Divac said Detroit Pistons centers Darko Milicic and Zeljko Rebraca, and Predrag Drobnjak of the Los Angeles Clippers can help the national team more than he can at the games in August.

"The best should play for the national team, and I'm no longer its best center," Divac said.

Yugoslavia beat the United States in the quarterfinals of the 2002 world championships in Indianapolis and won the gold medal. The U.S. team will play Serbia-Montenegro in an Olympic warmup Aug. 6 in Belgrade.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press