Report: LeBron James done with USA BasketballReigning NBA MVP to opt out of future international competitions
However, LeBron may only be up for defending one of those going forward, as multiple reports indicate that James is ready to walk away from USA Basketball.
The Miami Heat forward has opted out of next year's FIBA World Cup tournament in Spain and is unlikely to play in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, according to Yahoo! Sports, and USA Basketball executive director Jerry Colangelo also confirmed to Yahoo! Sports that he does not expect LeBron to participate, nor does he plan to ask him to, beyond next year.
James has played in three Olympics, first joining the 2004 team that won bronze at the Athens Olympics and became the first USA men’s basketball team to fail to win gold since 1988; however, he won the gold medal in both 2008 and 2012, averaging 13.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in the latter tournament, and according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, a source close to James said his choice to step away is understandable given that he will be 31 when the next Olympic games come around.
Earlier this week, Colangelo referenced Kevin Durant as “kind of the face of USA Basketball going forward,” and if James is done, Durant and Kevin Love – who both committed to play in the 2014 world championships – will look to become the leaders of a group that has the talent to continue its dominance in international play.
As for who will join Durant and Love, the executive director said that he expects another “two to four” past Olympians to compete in the 2014 tournament – with Durant naming Russell Westbrook and James Harden as expected returnees earlier this week – and young stars such as Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose are expected to be in the mix.