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Monday, June 7, 2004
Boozer announcement expected this week

Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Carlos Boozer has been added to the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team, an NBA source told The Associated Press on Monday.

Boozer accepted an invitation from USA Basketball and will join Cleveland teammate LeBron James on the ever-changing roster for this summer's games in Athens, said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Another source with knowledge of Boozer's invitation said an official announcement was expected later this week.

In his second year in the league, Boozer emerged as one of the Eastern Conference's top power forwards this season. The former Duke star averaged 15.5 points and 11.4 rebounds for the improved Cavs, who went 35-47 after winning just 17 games a year ago.

Like James, Boozer is a late addition to a U.S. team that has already lost several superstars for personal reasons.

Ray Allen, Jason Kidd, Kevin Garnett, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, Elton Brand, Kenyon Martin and Tracy McGrady have withdrawn from the team or have said they would not accept invitations.

Mike Bibby and Jermaine O'Neal also are expected to bow out.

U.S. coach Larry Brown, a member of the 1964 U.S. team, said he understands that players have other commitments.

"I just look at it as maybe a missed opportunity for the guys that are dropping out, but an unbelievable chance for the guys that want to play," Brown said from the NBA Finals in Los Angeles. "The more young kids with enthusiasm that are going to be our future, in my mind, the better off we can be."

The U.S. team now includes James, Boozer, Stephon Marbury, Allen Iverson, Richard Jefferson, Shawn Marion, Amare Stoudemire and Tim Duncan. Only Duncan and Marion have extensive international experience, but no one on the roster has played in an Olympics.

Brown would like to add veterans Ben Wallace and Reggie Miller to the squad -- and perhaps a few more kids.

Denver's Carmelo Anthony and Miami's Dwyane Wade are two of the players most often mentioned.