LeBron James has likely already played in his final Olympic competition.
During Wednesday’s edition of ESPN’s “Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin Show,” Keyshawn Johnson asked USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo if the Lakers star would ever play for Team USA again. Colangelo didn’t say whether he had spoken directly to James about his future with Team USA, but he believes the 36-year-old’s Olympic career is over.
MORE: Colangelo explains why Kevin Love made Team USA roster
“Father Time takes its toll. And you guys know that because, 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,” Colangelo said. “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 was a member of the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic teams, winning the gold medal in his last two appearances on the international stage. He passed on the opportunity to play for Team USA in 2016 and opted out again this year.
After the Suns eliminated the Lakers from the 2021 NBA playoffs, James joked that he would be playing for the “Tune Squad” instead of Team USA, a nod to his upcoming movie “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”
While having James on the roster would have boosted Team USA’s gold-medal chances, the squad heading to Tokyo certainly won’t be lacking talent. Team USA has received commitments from Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum and more ahead of the Olympic Games.
“I’m happy for the selected players and looking forward to having the opportunity to work with this wonderful group when practice gets underway on July 6 in Las Vegas,” Team USA coach Gregg Popovich said as part of USA Basketball’s official roster announcement. “I’m excited to represent the United States in our quest to earn a gold medal in Tokyo.”