Brown: McGrady has withdrawn from consideration
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Tracy McGrady will not play for the U.S. men's basketball team at the Olympics, U.S. coach Larry Brown said Wednesday.
"Tracy dropped out," Brown said, breaking the news of yet another superstar's withdrawal from the roster.
McGrady joins Ray Allen, Jason Kidd, Kevin Garnett, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, Elton Brand and Kenyon Martin among players who have withdrawn from the team or have told the selection committee they would not accept invitations.
Brown indicated McGrady's decision to get married influenced the player's decision. A call to McGrady's agent was not immediately returned.
Brown also declined to answer directly when asked if he thought Jermaine O'Neal might be wavering. O'Neal would not comment Wednesday other than to say he is only thinking about the NBA playoffs right now.
The loss of McGrady would leave the U.S. team without one of its best all-around offensive talents. Also, the U.S. coaching staff was expecting to use McGrady as the primary defender against opposing teams' best player.
"There's a lot of neat young kids in our league that want to do it and would like to be a part of it," Brown said.
As for those withdrawing, Brown is usually not the one hearing the news directly from them.
"They're not going to tell me. None of them want to tell me," he said. "I've had guys tell me they're coming, and they aren't coming."
The U.S. roster now includes Mike Bibby and Stephon Marbury at point guard, although Bibby has been wavering in his commitment. The shooting guard position will be manned by Allen Iverson and LeBron James, with Richard Jefferson and Shawn Marion at small forward, Amare Stoudemire and Tim Duncan at power forward and O'Neal at center.
Brown has said he would like to add veteran shooting guard Reggie Miller to the squad.
Brown would not criticize any of the players who withdrew.
"It hurts because of what we did [last] summer to prepare," he said. "But the way I look at it, Stephon's getting to go, LeBron's getting to go, Stoudemire's getting to go, Richard's been selected. It's an opportunity for kids that might have a chance."
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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