Peja Stojakovic said Wednesday he will not play for Serbia and
Montenegro at the Athens Olympics, depriving the defending world
champions of their best perimeter scorer.
The three-time NBA All-Star of the Sacramento Kings said he was tired and his decision is
irreversible -- even though people in his homeland are urging him to
change his mind.
"No way. I already spoke with the team officials. We talked
about it, and it's done," Stojakovic told The Associated Press in
a telephone interview. "I'm not going to go."
Stojakovic will be in Greece during the Olympics, fulfilling the
end of a three-month stint in the Greek army. He holds duel
citizenship in Greece and Serbia and Montenegro.
Stojakovic said he planned to watch the games with friends from
the beach in Thessaloniki, where he keeps a home. Stojakovic's
girlfriend, who also lives there, is expecting a baby in two to
"I've played for the national team for six years," he said.
"Every summer there is something going on -- the world
championships, the European championship, the Olympics. I just felt
His fellow Serbian players "understand guys need to rest after
they have a long season. They still have a lot of good young
guys," Stojakovic said.
The absence of Stojakovic could hurt Serbia and Montenegro's
chances for a medal.
Serbia and Montenegro, Spain and Lithuania are considered among
the top European contenders to advance in the medal round.
"I don't know what kind of chances they'll have," Stojakovic
said. "I wish them the best and I'm hoping for the best."
Fellow NBA player Vlade Divac, who was Stojakovic's teammate with the Sacramento Kings for six seasons before signing with the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this month, also is expected to sit out the