LeBron likely done with USA basketball

7/25/13 in NBA   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Whether you love LeBron James or you hate him, there was always one time every few years that American basketball fans could get together and root for the greatest player in the world - when LeBron played with Team USA in international competition. Personally, I root against LeBron and the Heat with all my heart, but when the four-time MVP is representing my country on an international stage, there's no player I'd rather have on my side.

Blog Photo - LeBron likely done with USA basketballUnfortunately, those days appear to be over. According to a source close to LeBron, the 28-year-old forward will not be playing in the 2014 world championships, and is unlikely to play in the 2016 Olympics. USA Basketball executive director Jerry Colangelo has also stated that he doesn't expect LeBron to play for Team USA, and he does not plan to ask him to. Colangelo also said that Kevin Durant, who will play in the 2014 world championships, is "kind of the face of USA basketball going forward."

The source cited age, a busy schedule, and family as the reasons that LeBron will sit out of international play in the future.

LeBron will wrap up his international career with three Olympic medals - two gold, and one bronze. The bronze medal that LeBron won was back in 2004 when he was 19 years old and was not a huge part of the team - you can't blame him for falling short of the gold. LeBron led Team USA in scoring when he won his first Olympic gold in 2008, and led the team in assists when he won his second gold in 2012.

The source did leave the door open for a possible surprise return to Olympic action in 2016, saying, "Everyone that knows LeBron knows it's always based on a decision at that moment. But if the moment was today, the answer would be no... The only way I could see him playing in the Olympics is if his country really, really needed him to play. But hasn't he done enough?"

As a key piece to two gold medal Olympic teams, LeBron certainly has done enough, but it is still a shame that we will no longer get to see his premier talent represent our country.
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