Rio 2016 will have to go on with a marked LeBron James’ absence. He has already made his decision not to compete in the upcoming Rio Olympics this August.
He joins the long list of elite basketball players who will not be a part of Team USA for the summer Olympics. The list includes Stephen Curry who will be nursing his injuries and Russell Westbrook.
Though Team USA will miss powerhouse players like James and Curry, Team USA has other elite players like Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and the DeMarcus cousins. Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson are also expected to appear for Team USA, Sporting News reports.
If one notes Kyrie Irving’s performance in the Finals series, he can easily fill up the gap left by James. Performing at the top of his game on Cleveland Cavaliers game 3 and 5. Irving clocked in 30 points for Cavaliers’ Game 3 and did 41 points for Game 5, same as LeBron’s.
LeBron James’ Absence
However, LeBron James’ reason for not competing is different from the others.
Sources close to LeBron told cleveland.com that he simply wants to rest after a grueling finals series.
Switching between Cleveland and Oakland and playing full games to secure the championship was tiring for Cavaliers’ lead scorer LeBron James.
On Thursday, LeBron James’ agent Rich Paul told Team USA and its managing director Jerry Colangelo about LeBron James’ absence.
“I could use the rest,” was James’ succinct statement to cleveland.com.
During the finals series’ Game 7, LeBron James made a historic block against Warriors’ Andre Iguodala. He did it by closing 76 feet in 3.92 seconds. This happened as the game reached its climactic 89 score point for both teams with less than 2 minutes of game time.
LeBron James also made NBA history as the first MVP who led in all 5 stat areas of the game. He scored an average of 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists with 2.6 average steals and 2.3 blocks. LeBron James sealed the deal for his team’s first ever championship.
For a stellar performance for the Finals series which brought the Cleveland Cavaliers their NBA championship title, LeBron James has definitely earned his rest.
Aside from the championships, LeBron James has already been an Olympian for three consecutive Olympic events. USA Today notes James has first brought bronze in 2004 and gold for Team USA in 2008 and 2012.
He is also the leading scorer for the Team USA. He has clocked in 273 points, 113 field goals scored and 88 assists in the Olympic competitions.