- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 2, 2007

After a long season, Washington Wizards forward Antawn Jamison has had enough.

Jamison, a member of the U.S. national team, said he will take the summer off to rest and spend time with his family, including a son born earlier this season.

“I’m not pulling out all together; I think there is an agreement on both parties,” Jamison said. “I’m tired. They sent me the itinerary, and I’m thinking another month and a half of my summer.

“The good thing is it gives the younger guys an opportunity to experience it,” said Jamison, who plans to return home to Charlotte, N.C., to begin the summer. “For me, it’s about getting some rest and being focused on this organization next year and spending time with my family. I’m not competing this year, and we’ll see what happens next year, but for me, I can’t do it.”

Jamison and Gilbert Arenas are both part of the USA Basketball program, which aims to win a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Last summer, the team earned a bronze medal at the world championships with an 8-1 record.

With the third-place finish, the U.S. team failed to qualify for the Olympics. It will have the chance to qualify at the FIBAS Americas Championship this summer in Las Vegas.

Arenas also has ruled out playing for the team this summer because of his injury. However, Arenas was not happy with the way things went last summer and might not have gone to Las Vegas even if he was healthy.

Conversely, forward Darius Songaila said he wants to play for the Lithuanian national team in the European Championships.

But Wizards coach Eddie Jordan would prefer if he didn’t.

“I want to,” said Songaila, who missed the first 45 games of the season after back surgery. “My back is pretty good now. I just don’t have my left back where I want them. This will be good for that, and it will keep me playing this summer.”

Stevenson wants to stay

Last offseason, DeShawn Stevenson turned down a three-year, $10 million offer from the Orlando Magic. Instead, he signed a one-year deal for just less than $1 million with a player option for a second year with the Wizards.

Stevenson, who averaged 11.2 points and shot a career-best 46.1 percent from the field, will opt out of his contract but hopes to return to Washington.

“This is a great situation here, playing with Caron, Gilbert and Antawn,” Stevenson said. “I think we could have won at least 50 games if everyone stayed healthy. But I’ll have to do what’s best for me. This is a great situation here.”

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