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Suns forward discussses what it means to represent one's country
Shawn's Shot at Glory

By Rob Peterson

July 29 -- Growing up, he never thought he'd be an Olympian. Now he's representing his country in the 2004 Athens Games. For Suns forward Shawn Marion, this summer's trip to Greece is the "ultimate thing." NBA.com talked to Marion about what the U.S. needs to do to get the gold.

Frozen Sun: Shawn Marion ices down after practice with Larry Brown and company in Florida.
(Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE)
How excited are you about the Olympic experience?
Marion: "I'm very excited. I get to go out there and represent our country, wear that USA across your chest. It's going to be a great experience. I've never been to Greece. We get to go over there and do what we need to do and that's get the gold."

Did you ever think you'd be an Olympian
Marion: "When you grow up, you don't think about being an Olympian. You think about trying to get to the NBA. It's the ultimate thing, though, to represent your country. Especially, when you get older, you realize what they are and what they're about. It's going to be an unbelievable experience."

Do you have any memorable moments from watching the Olympics?
Marion: "The Dream Team, of course because of how they played, how they did and how much fun they had. They did some wonderful things over there."

Do you think you guys can achieve the same level of camaraderie?
Marion: "I think we can. It's just a matter of us getting together and gelling. And just go out there and have fun and represent the USA."

What do you know about Larry Brown?
Marion: "Larry Brown is a great coach. I talked to him a bit after games when we play them. Him, coach Popovich and Roy Williams, they're all great coaches. You could pick any one of them and they could coach the team. But coach Brown just won his first championship this year and I congratulate him. We have a great group of guys going and he's going to put together a great team."