Team USA may have had only two All-Stars at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, but the 2020 Olympic team is shaping up to be significantly better. Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard to say that they plan to play for Team USA. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green . More big names are expected to follow.
But the biggest name of them all had stayed conspicuously quiet. LeBron James won gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and was a part of the bronze-medal disappointment of 2004, but he sat out the 2016 Olympics and had not made a commitment in either direction for 2020. He didn’t on Friday either, but he explained his thought process at Lakers media day and revealed that he plans to speak with Gregg Popovich before making his final call.
“I don’t know. I would love to. I have to, I want to stay healthy as well. That’s most important. I was not happy about how we did this summer.”
Popovich would certainly love to have James on his roster. The two battled in consecutive NBA Finals in 2013 and 2014, and Popovich has been effusive in praising James ever since. He even in 2018 for his willingness to speak out on social issues. James has returned the favor, It is unlikely that the two ever get an opportunity to work together in the NBA, so Team USA could be their only chance.
But James expects his Lakers to go on a long playoff run this spring. If he is playing into June, he might not be too keen on traveling to Japan in August for more games at the age of 35. James is coming off of one of the longest offseasons of his career, so he should be fresher than he’s been in years, but the NBA season is long and James knows how grueling championship runs can be. If the Lakers achieve their goals this season, James will have a very difficult decision to make about Team USA.