NBA superstar LeBron James has probably played his final game for the United States national team, according to USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo.
James, a 36-year-old playmaker for the Los Angeles Lakers, is a two-time Olympic gold medal winner and four-time NBA champion, but he has opted out of the past two Olympic cycles.
“Father Time takes its toll,” Colangelo said of James on ESPN on Wednesday. “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 will star in the movie “Space Jam: A New Legacy” that is due to be released July 16.
James played for the 2008 and 2012 US Olympic championship teams. He was also a member of the 2004 American squad that settled for bronze in Athens, playing mainly a reserve role.
The 12-man US roster for the Tokyo Olympics includes two players from the 2016 roster, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, and a new generation of NBA talent.
The lineup includes Kevin Love, a former James teammate with Cleveland who played on the 2012 Olympic squad. Colangelo described his role as an extra big man as “insurance” with limited options for US big men.
“Most of the bigs in the NBA are international players. They are not American players,” Colangelo said. “We haven’t developed bigs the way they have in other countries.”