Originally created 06/20/00

Hornets expect Jones to be Olympic pick



CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Hornets said Monday they expect Eddie Jones to be named to the Olympic team if Los Angeles' Kobe Bryant declines to play.

"I would think Eddie would be next in line," Charlotte vice president Bob Bass said Monday. "Eddie was in the running before, and I assume he would still be considered."

USA Basketball needs to fill the spot left vacant last week when the injured Grant Hill said he would not play.

Russ Granic, NBA deputy commissioner and USA Basketball president, said last week that Bryant and Jones are likely replacements for Hill. But Bryant indicated Sunday he wasn't interested.

"Right now, I'm kind of leaning toward not going," Bryant said.

Other possibilities, especially if the team decides to find another small forward, are Indiana's Jalen Rose and Vancouver's Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Jones is a guard.

Bass said no one from USA Basketball has contacted him about Jones, but said he probably would not be involved in any discussions about Jones' possible participation.