LeBron James will not play for Team USA at the Olympics this year in Tokyo and USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo thinks the Los Angeles Lakers star could be done sporting the red, white and blue.
James has won a pair of gold medals as part of the U.S. Men’s National Team, but at this point in his career, he isn’t looking to log any minutes he deems as unnecessary. The 36-year-old star future Hall of Famer is focused on winning a few more titles before he hangs it up.
Colangelo shared his thoughts on James during an appearance on Keyshawn, Jwill & Zubin.
“You know, Father Time takes its toll,” Colangelo said of James. “… If you’re a human being, your body is built to go so long depending on what your sport is, and then it’s a downhill situation.
“LeBron made choices these last couple of Olympics not to participate because he’s got a lot of things going on in his life. So he put in his time, he made a contribution that is appreciated, but I think his time is over.”
James has played in 68 international games in his career. He shot down the idea of playing in the Olympics at the end of the season.
“Nah, I think I’m gonna play for the Tune Squad this summer instead of the Olympics,” James said, promoting his upcoming movie Space Jam: A New Legacy.
LeBron James Said He’ll Never be 100% Again
James dealt with an ankle injury last season with the Lakers that kept him out 27 games — the most he’s missed during a single season in his career. He caused some concerns about his health with comments during the season.
“I knew I wasn’t going to get back to 100 percent. It’s impossible,” James said. “I don’t think I will ever get back to 100 percent in my career.”
James later clarified those comments.
“Whatever I say gets blown out of context,” he told reporters, per Bleacher Report. “As soon as I step on an NBA floor for the first time, I went to 99.9 percent.”
The NBA as a whole has been hit with a flurry of injuries following a short offseason, which James was not a fan of. The Lakers got just 71 days off between winning the 2020 bubble title and the start of the most recent season.
“They all didn’t wanna listen to me about the start of the season. I knew exactly what would happen … These injuries isn’t just ‘PART OF THE GAME.’ It’s the lack of PURE RIM REST,” James wrote as part of a series of tweets critical of the NBA.
LeBron James Embracing Rest After Early Elimination
James has estimated that he was around 85% for the Lakers’ first-round series against the Suns, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Still, James averaged 23.3 points, 8.0 assists and 7.2 rebounds in the series. Injuries and protocols plagued the Lakers last season, which never allowed the defending champs to build the chemistry needed to win a title.
“The one thing that bothers me more than anything is we never really got an opportunity to see our full team at full strength,” James said. “Either because of injury or COVID or something going on with our ballclub this year, we could never fully get into a rhythm. And never really kind of see the full potential of what we could be capable of.”
While James would rather be playing, he’s embracing the opportunity to get some additional rest.
“During the season I don’t even talk about rest, I don’t even like to put my mind and frame into that, it makes me weak. But in the offseason, I get an opportunity to rest. We’ve got like three months to recalibrate, get my ankle back to 100% where it was before that Atlanta game, and that’s the most important thing for me.”
James will be cheering on Team USA from home, but the squad is still a hefty favorite to take home the gold with Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal leading the way. The United States is -305 to win it all, followed most closely by Spain (+800).