Germany’s upset of Team USA on Friday has left many in the NBA world hoping to see a stronger American squad in the 2024 Olympics.
Based on his recent social media activity, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James seems to have some level of interest in representing the U.S. in Paris next summer.
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It’s been a while since James represented Team USA in international competition. He debuted with the national team in 2004, helping the team win a bronze medal at the Athens Olympics. That team experienced major disappointment, as it was expected to win the whole tournament. Argentina wound up winning it all, however.
James averaged 5.4 points, 1.0 rebound and 1.6 assists in 11.5 minutes per game as Team USA went 5-3, beating Lithuania in the third-place game.
He was also part of the team that faltered at the 2006 FIBA World Cup by losing to Greece in the semifinals. The four-time NBA champion had more of a lead role in that tournament, recording 14.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 24.2 minutes per game.
James eventually led Team USA to gold medal honors in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, with the American squad going 8-0 in both tournaments.
In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, James notched 15.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game on 60.2 percent shooting from the field and 46.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc. He did much of the same during the 2012 London Olympics, compiling averages of 13.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game on 60.3 percent shooting from the field and 30.0 percent shooting from downtown.
The No. 1 overall pick from the 2003 NBA Draft is obviously much older now than he was back then, but he would likely still be a very efficient player for Team USA if he were to suit up.
He rejected an offer to play for the team in the 2016 Olympics, which took place in Rio de Janeiro, and didn’t compete in the 2020 Olympics, which took place in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Team USA won gold in both tournaments.
At 38 years old, James might be better off resting his body during the summer, but perhaps he feels a strong calling to help his country win gold one last time. Only time will tell if that ends up taking place.