posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 09:10 AM
Allen Iverson was one of the few top-tier NBA stars willing to play for the United States in the Olympics, and after Team USA was bounced in the
semifinals Friday, the 76ers star had some harsh words for the NBA players who turned down the opportunity to represent their country.
"Any person that's selected to a team like this, it shouldn't be a question in your mind," Iverson told the Washington Post. "It shouldn't even be
something to think about. You're honored to get a chance to represent your country, and what's better than that?"
Iverson wasn't invited to participate in the 2000 Olympics but was on the team that participated in a qualifying tournament last summer just for the
right to reach the Olympics. And, while he didn't name names, questioned the players that would accept NBA riches yet refuse to represent their
"Anybody that grew up in the U.S. and is able to be a basketball player in the NBA, you understand what that country has done for you and your
family," Iverson said. "It gave you an opportunity to support your family and be recognized as a household name. I mean, it's just an honor to be able
to do something like that, and I would advise anybody that's selected to a team like this to take that honor and cherish it."
Shaquille O'Neal, Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, Jason Kidd, Ray Allen and Mike Bibby are among the NBA stars who turned down a chance to
play in the Olympics.
Before Friday's 89-81 semifinal loss to Argentina, NBA commissioner David Stern begged reporters to stop talking about which players didn't come to
"We have a great, great team here," Stern said. "I shouldn't say that. We have 12 great basketball players."