Former Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard took to social media and made his case to LeBron James to be added to Team USA. The current Lakers superstar reportedly is looking to put together a team to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
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Referring to James as “LeGM” in the caption to the Instagram post, Howard and filmmaker Chase Walker may or may not have actually called James and left him a voicemail pitching for Howard’s inclusion on the next Olympic squad.
James recently reportedly expressed an interest in returning to the Olympics and has called some of his fellow NBA stars in a recruiting effort. He reportedly has spoken to Lakers teammate Anthony Davis along with Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum and Draymond Green, with Devin Booker, Damian Lillard, De’Aaron Fox and Kyrie Irving also reportedly having serious interest.
Howard, who teamed with James on the Lakers’ 2020 NBA championship team and on the 2008 U.S. team that won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, did not play in the NBA last season after playing for the Lakers during the 2021-22 campaign.
That 2008 Olympic victory started a streak of four consecutive golds won by Team USA, including with James at the 2012 London Games, his last Olympics appearance to date.
The U.S. team recently finished in fourth place at the 2023 FIBA World Cup with losses to Germany in the semifinals and to Canada in the third-place game. Lakers star Austin Reaves was a key member of the club, whose failure to earn a medal has raised questions of how to get USA Basketball to improve its chances at the next Olympics.
It would certainly be enhanced if James’ reported star-studded roster does come to fruition. He would be 39 years old next summer, Curry would be 36 and Durant would be 35, which would be contrary to the usual formula of American Olympic teams being led by emerging young stars. For example, Kobe Bryant at 33 years old was considered to be the “grumpy old man” on the 2012 team that included then 19-year-old Davis.
Howard would be 38 years old when the Paris Games begin in July 2024.