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Brown: McGrady has withdrawn from consideration

5/27/2004 - Tracy McGrady

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players who have withdrawn from the team or have told the selection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.

"You've got to have some sort of zone buster. I think Rip [Richard Hamilton] will have to be considered, Michael Redd, people
like that," Brown said.

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."