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Brown's strictness indicative of the stakes

Co-captain Allen Iverson will endure heat for being late to a meeting that got him suspended, but it should not lessen his Team USA stature.

Updated: July 31, 2004, 9:03 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A prideful David Stern made a surprise appearance here Friday morning, because the commissioner wanted to thank the NBA stars who volunteered to play for their country ... and joke about the proper way to address Allen Iverson this summer.

"Captain Iverson?" Stern wondered aloud. "Or should I say Admiral Iverson?"

Sadly, by lunchtime Saturday, any ambiguity had been wiped away.

By tipoff of Team USA's first Olympic warm-up game, the only domestic appearance ...

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