LeBron James: ‘A lot of factors’ will play role in Olympics decision
LeBron James unsurprisingly was among the players listed on Team USA’s initial star-studded list of finalists for the 2020 Olympics roster.
While the Los Angeles Lakers star presumably would love to represent his country again after winning gold at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games — he was not on the 2016 U.S. roster that also won gold, declining to participate after leading the Cavaliers to an NBA title — it’s not a done deal just yet.
James cited a few things while speaking to reporters Monday that he will consider before confirming to play in Tokyo this summer.
“My name is in the hat, and it’s always predicated on, one, my body, how my body’s feeling at the end of the season. I hope to make it a long playoff run,” James said after Monday night’s win over the Phoenix Suns. “Then where my mind is, and then where my family’s head is. So there’s a lot of factors, but my name is in the hat.”
Lakers’ LeBron James on whether he will play for USA Basketball at 2020 Tokyo Olympics: “[I’ll weigh] how my body is feeling… I’m hoping to make a long playoff run. Then where my mind is and where my family’s head is. There’s a lot of factors but my name is in the hat.” pic.twitter.com/DfBB21Z4Hp— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) February 11, 2020
James of course has a lot of miles on his 35-year-old body thanks to countless deep runs in the postseason. Rest and recuperation rightfully are among his very top offseason priorities, and an Olympics appearance would only add more wear and tear.
Further, as James noted, he’s expecting the Lakers to play far into the postseason, and if the team maintains its position as No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, that only makes such a run more likely.
James’ Olympics résumé is indeed impressive, so his inclusion on the roster would only increase the chances of the U.S. bringing home yet another gold in international play. Among U.S. players, James is tied with David Robinson for most games played (24) and is No. 1 overall in points scored (273), field goals made (113) and assists (88) in his Olympics career.