Saturday, January 7, 2006
Duncan won't play for U.S. at worlds, '08 Games
PHOENIX -- Tim Duncan has officially notified USA Basketball that he will not be a part of the U.S. team that will compete at this year's world championships and the 2008 Olympics.
Jerry Colangelo, managing director of USA Basketball, said Saturday that Duncan's agent, Lon Babby, had called with the news earlier this week. Because of the call, Colangelo did not meet with Duncan when the San Antonio Spurs were in Arizona this weekend.
After the Spurs' 91-86 loss to the Suns on Saturday night, Duncan confirmed his feelings on playing for the U.S. team.
"I have no interest in that," he said.
Colangelo, chosen to form a team to bring the U.S. back to world prominence in the sport, is requiring players to make a three-year commitment. The commitment includes a training camp in July, probably to be held in Las Vegas, as well as exhibition games in China and South Korea leading to the worlds in Japan in August.
There will be another training camp next year, followed by another and more exhibition games prior to the 2008 Games in Beijing.
Colangelo said has met with 15 to 18 players, and Duncan was the first to say he would not take part. Some, including Shaquille O'Neal, have said they were still considering it, while others, including Allen Iverson, have said they were willing to make the commitment.
Duncan was part of the U.S. team that won the bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics. He was selected for the U.S. team at the 2000 Olympics but had to withdraw with a knee injury.
Duncan played for the U.S. teams at the FIBA Americas qualifying tournaments in 1999 and 2003.
Colangelo, who has said the team will include role players and not be simply a collection of superstars, plans to announce the first batch of camp invitees by the NBA's All-Star break in mid-February.