By CRAIG DANIELS -- Toronto Sun
SYDNEY -- He used the word unfortunate rather than regret.
But he did say he wished he had been at the Olympics. At the end of the day, the difference might just boil down to semantics.
"I wish I could play with them ... it is unfortunate," Charlotte Hornets' rookie Jamaal Magloire told the Gaston, N.C., Gazette yesterday.
He was speaking about his feelings in the wake of missing what might turn out to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of the Canadian men's Olympic team, one that made it to the tournament quarter-final.
"This is the Olympics -- I would've love to have played," Magloire said. "But after the draft when I called him (Canadian coach Jay Triano), he said his team was already full."
Triano elected not to put Magloire on his team when Magloire failed to join the team in time for training camp and after the former Eastern Commerce high school star asked for guaranteed playing time.
"Me and coach talked a few times and he thought it would be in my best interest to wait until the next time," Magloire said. "I am a Canadian and I wish them the best of luck."
Asked if he felt as if he wasn't needed once the team was set, Magloire replied, "Yes."
"It's really unfortunate. I was working out, trying to get ready for the NBA and they had already started playing games and practising and had their team together at that point. So it was hard for me to join them."
Magloire has come under criticism in print for passing up on the opportunity.
Asked if bothers him, he replied:
"I really haven't heard anything. But I want them to know that they have my support. I wish everything would have worked out."
Asked if he had watched any of the basketball games, Magloire said no.
"We don't get the feed much here in Charlotte," he said. "But I've been reading USA Today and following them as much as possible."