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#pounditTuesday, October 19, 2021

LeBron James’ Olympic career likely over?

LeBron James

LeBron James has not participated in the Olympics for nearly a decade now, and those hoping for one last hurrah probably shouldn’t hold their breath.

USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo told ESPN this week that he does not expect James to suit up for the team again.

“You know, Father Time takes its toll,” said Colangelo. “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, now 36, last participated in the Olympics during the 2012 London Games, helping lead Team USA to the gold medal. He also won gold with the “Redeem Team” at the Beijing Games in 2008 and bronze at the Athens Games in 2004. That puts James’ total Olympic experience at 68 games.

The four-time NBA MVP declined to join the Tokyo Olympic team this year, meaning that the oldest player on the team will be Kevin Love at 32. James will be nearing 40 by the 2024 Paris Games, and it is very rare to see players that old participate in the Olympics. Larry Bird was practically ancient when he played on the 1992 “Dream Team” at 35. But soon-to-be 41-year-old Pau Gasol will play for Spain at this year’s Olympics, so you never know.

In any case, James seems to have other offseason priorities right now, and he can be pleased with the illustrious Olympic career he has already had if this is really it for him.

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