Stoudemire joins Marion for Olympics
Paul Coro and Jeff Metcalfe
The Arizona Republic
May. 15, 2004 12:00 AM
Amaré Stoudemire's official inclusion onto USA Basketball's Olympic roster Friday added to the reasons for Phoenix basketball fans to care about this summer's games.
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Stoudemire and Shawn Marion give the American team two current Suns players. Stephon Marbury's Friday addition gives the roster two former Suns with Jason Kidd still on the team despite doubts he will play. Richard Jefferson also was added Friday, giving Phoenix two natives on the 12-man roster with Mike Bibby.
The team has the NBA's past two Rookies of the Year with LeBron James, also a Friday addition, and Stoudemire.
"This means so much to me," Stoudemire said in a statement. "I said earlier that I would absolutely love to play for my country and I meant it. This will be my first time playing for USA Basketball but I'm ready for it. I'm looking forward to being part of the U.S. Olympic team and playing some of the best players in the world."
The current roster includes Stoudemire, Marion, Marbury, Kidd, Bibby, Jefferson, James, Tracy McGrady, Jermaine O'Neal, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan and Karl Malone. Kidd, Bibby, McGrady and Malone are reconsidering.
The trouble of solidifying a roster provided a need for a versatile player like Marion and a big man like Stoudemire.
"This (Marion) is a player that (national team) Coach (Larry) Brown wanted badly and we were fortunate enough that he chose to be a part of this team," said Stu Jackson, who chaired the selection committee that included Suns President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo.
"With guys like Amaré and LeBron, it really sends a signal in terms of the composition of our team that it's good to have some young players on your team for the future. Amaré certainly is one of the brightest young players in the world today. I have a feeling he'll play a big role on this team."