LeBron James is currently gearing up for the release of Space Jam: A New Legacy and expanding the third season of The Shop on HBO. In addition, he is continuing to rehab from an injury he suffered during the later stages of the 2020-2021 NBA Regular Season. With all that is going on, James will opt out of playing for Team USA in the 2021 Summer Olympic Games. Five years earlier, James also opted out of playing in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. At 36 years old, USA Basketball Managing Director Jerry Colangelo is under the belief that James will never play in the Summer Olympic Games again.
"You know, Father Time takes its toll," Colangelo said during an interview on ESPN.
"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 first joined Team USA as a member of the 2004 men's basketball team that finished third at the Olympics in Greece. Four years later, he won a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Shortly after winning his first NBA title, James traveled to London to win his second gold medal. Over the course of his pro basketball career, James has played 68 total games for the United States.
In James' absence, Team USA will be led by Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard and Devin Booker. Fellow NBA All-Stars Jayson Tatum, Khris Middleton, Bam Adebayo and Bradley Beal will also represent America in Japan.
“Our roster features players who are experienced in the international game, and this team has outstanding athleticism, versatility and balance. We also believe we have excellent leadership which is a necessity in order to develop the needed chemistry," Colangelo said about this year's Olympic roster.
"We still have a lot of challenges in front of us, but I believe these players will become a team that all Americans will be proud of.”