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Friday, May 28, 2004
GM wants rookie to take a break

Associated Press

DENVER -- Denver Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe has mixed feelings about the possibility of Carmelo Anthony playing in the Athens Olympics in August.

Carmelo Anthony
Small Forward
Denver Nuggets
82 21.0 6.1 2.8 .426 .777

This week, Orlando Magic guard Tracy McGrady decided against playing for Team USA, leading to speculation about who might replace him.

Anthony, who turns 20 on Saturday, played in 86 of 87 games during his rookie season. Playing on the U.S. team would reduce his recovery time before the 2004-05 season.

"Absolutely, it's a concern," Vandeweghe said Thursday. "You never want to deny a kid a chance to play for his country, but my responsibility is to make the Nuggets better, so that's a definite concern."

Anthony said he would not want to play in the Olympics if he was just going to sit on the bench, but later said he would accept an invitation regardless of playing time.

Anthony's agent, Calvin Andrews, said he had not heard from USA Basketball. He also said Anthony is not campaigning for a roster spot.

"It's not something that we as a group would be pushing for him to do, but if the opportunity came up, it would be an honor and he would love to do it," Andrews said.

Vandeweghe said he would not stand between Anthony and the Olympics but expressed concern about how the demands might affect his play next season. Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik said the risk of injury is not a major concern.

"I can't speak for Carmelo and how he feels, but to have an opportunity to represent your country in the Olympics I would think would be a great honor for anyone," he said. "You can get hurt doing anything at any time, so I don't worry too much about that."