Carter says "No" to Olympics

Carter says "No" to Olympics
By Reuters

18/03/2004 at 09:52Updated

"Maybe in 08," Carter said, adding he was also getting married this summer.

"But I'm not going to play this summer. I'm going to take it easy, let my body heal and focus on that. It's tough because it's a wonderful experience but I have my duties here.

"Going through a season like this I need as much rest as possible. It is tough and I have a lot of things going on this summer.

"There are a lot of things involved, security issues ... I just felt it was in my best interest not to go."

Nine of the 12 roster spots on the 2004 edition of what has become known as the "Dream Team" have already been filled by players who qualified at a selection tournament last summer.

They are; Ray Allen, Mike Bibby, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, Jason Kidd, Karl Malone, Tracy McGrady and Jermaine O'Neal.

However, Bryant, slowed by injury and facing a sexual assault trial did not play in the Olympic qualifier, Carter taking the Los Angeles Lakers all-star's place on the roster.

With Bryant's situation still in doubt, Carter was thought to have a lock on one of the three remaining berths.

According to an ESPN.com report on Tuesday, Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal and Minnesota Timberwolves Kevin Garnett had been extended formal invitations to join the team.

O'Neal, who helped the U.S. to gold at the 1996 Summer Games, said earlier that he was not interested in playing in

Athens while Garnett has yet to confirm his interest.

ESPN.com also confirmed that USA Basketball selection committee chairman Stu Jackson said Cleveland Cavaliers high school rookie sensation LeBron James was among a small group of players being considered for the final roster spot.

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