Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is gearing up for his 21st season and has shown no sign of slowing down thus far. Despite some nagging injuries, James has been able to play at high level and help the Lakers remain competitive.
After being eliminated in the Western Conference Finals, James hinted at a potential retirement due to the amount of mental and physical energy spent on the entire season. But, he is back and ready to help L.A. achieve its 18th championship.
There has been some rumors leading up to training camp that the four-time champion wants to participate in the 2024 Olympics. He and other NBA superstars including Anthony Davis have expressed interest in forming another Olympic ‘super team’ in 2024. But James iterated on Thursday after practice that he is focused on the Lakers right now.
“Obviously I’ve always kept the main thing the main thing, and right now that’s the Lakers and us going through this [season]. Obviously with health, we’re optimistic a lot of great things will happen. Looking forward to seeing how that team constructs and what may happen, what could happen with the Olympic team going to Paris. So a lot of guys are excited about it, I’m excited about it as well, but obviously this is the main thing so I know I can keep it that way.”
After a disappointing summer for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup, there has been invested interest in rallying a star-powered team to bring home a gold medal when the Olympics come around next summer. On Thursday as well, the reigning MVP from the Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid committed to playing for USA in Paris. James was asked about Embiid’s commitment to USA.
“What happened? [He committed] to us? Great. That’s big time,” LeBron said.
James, who is known to be a recruiter, was then asked if he had any influence on Embiid’s decision.
“I have no idea,” James said with a big smirk on his face.
A lot has been made about the power that James has had throughout his various stops in the NBA and if he has the ability to construct rosters. But, it has been rumored that he is trying to pull some strings together with the 2024 Olympic team and it seems that he has succeeded with guys like Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Devin Booker and Kawhi Leonard all expressing interest already.
When it comes to representing the USA, players want to portray their country well and bring home the Gold Medal. It is expected that a fair amount of stars will commit at some point throughout the year. However, the first thing on James’ mind is to reign in another season with the Lakers and cash in on another championship.
James won’t play on Saturday against Warriors; plans to play at least half of preseason games
With preseason play kicking off for L.A. this weekend, the question is who will see the floor for the first of six game preseason schedule. On Thursday, James announced he will not play on Saturday against the Golden State Warriors, although he expects to play in around half of the team’s exhibition games.
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