After competing in the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics, basketball star, LeBron James, is not likely to return to an Olympic court.
In his career, James has achieved many great accomplishments. The shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers has been a part of the NBA since 2003, and since then has won two gold medals with Team USA.
However, James has not participated in the last two Summer Games and will not be partaking in this month’s Tokyo Games. In 2016, James denied the opportunity to participate in the Games following his sixth straight appearance in the NBA championship. In addition, the basketball star was seen in championship rounds in 2017 and 2018.
Despite his amazing record, why hasn’t LeBron James been on Olympic courts?
Jerry Colangelo, the USA Basketball managing director, offered some clarity to ESPN as to why the NBA champion has not been seen in the Olympics.
“You know, Father Time takes its toll,” said Colangelo in reference to James. He continued on to add, “… 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.”
Colangelo closed his statement with the information, “He made a contribution that is appreciated, but I think his time is over.”
While this news certainly may be difficult for avid basketball fans to hear, it is not entirely surprising considering the season James had. In 2020, the NBA champion faced injuries, as well as fellow his fellow Lakers teammates.
According to People, “James missed dozens of games during the season due to an ankle injury, while his teammate Anthony Davis experienced his own ailments. The injuries proved too much, and the Lakers were knocked out of this year’s playoffs in the first round.”
Additionally, by the time the 2024 Olympics roll around, James will have hit 40-years-old. It is not unusual to see a decrease in older athletes participating in the Games, simply because as the human body ages, it becomes increasingly difficult to give forward intense athleticism.
Lucky for Team USA, Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Damian Lillard, and Kevin Love will all be participating in this year’s Games, which can be seen at the end of this month.
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