LeBron James will not be part of Team USA this summer when it heads off to Spain to try and earn a berth in the 2016 Rio Olympics (winner of the World Championships automatically qualifies). After three straight trips to the Finals for the Heat, plus the London Olympics in that mix, LeBron is taking a summer off.
One way or another, team USA will be in Rio — but LeBron isn’t sure yet if he will be with them.
“I don’t know where I stand for 2016,” James said before Thursday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers. “Obviously, if I’m healthy in 2016 that summer, if I can get to leading our country by playing, then that would be great to be a part of that.
“But I can’t commit to it right now.”
LeBron has been to the last three Olympics for the USA, picking up a Bronze in Athens and golds in Beijing and London.
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If he gets a third gold he would have more than any other USA Basketball player in history — Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and others have two, but not three. For a guy at the point in his career where he is trying to define his legacy, that could be a real motivation.
But it’s too early for him to commit right now.
Dwyane Wade ‘honored’ to be Prince’s favorite player
The officiating crew missed a host of calls during those final 13 seconds, but they have at least owned up to the most egregious one — missing Dion Waiters pushing off Manu Ginobili while the Thunder guard tried to inbound the ball. (Yes, Ginobili’s foot was on the line, but sorry Thunder homers that was not close to the most egregious miss at the end.)
After the game, the lead official Kenny Mauer admitted that error.
Did that decide the game? No. We like to focus on things we can blame as going wrong, but the Spurs offense started 2-of-15 shooting on the night, was inconsistent, and they still had a chance at the end. This one play is not why the Spurs lost. Manu Ginobili said it well postgame.
Raptors’ Bismack Biyombo given after-the-fact Flagrant 2 for elbow to Pacers’ Turner, no suspension
However, no mention of a suspension for this incident alone. The Raptors catch a break there, as Biyombo should have been tossed from the game and/or given a suspension for that elbow. That said, one more flagrant and he does get a suspension.
NBA’s Basketball Without Borders to host first event in Australia
Australia has brought a fair amount of talent — and scrappy players — to the NBA, and now the NBA is taking one of its outreach programs there.
Yesterday the NBA, FIBA, and Australia’s National Basketball League announced a Basketball without Borders event June 23-26 at Dandenong Basketball Stadium in Melbourne. It’s the first time the community outreach program will come to the island nation of Australia.
“We are pleased to partner with FIBA and the NBL to bring the first Basketball without Borders camp to Australia,” NBA Asia Managing Director Scott Levy said in a statement. “The league has seen a surge of Australian talent in recent years, and we look forward to supporting the next generation by giving them a platform to showcase their skills alongside their peers from throughout the region.”
These events bring in youth basketball players and work with them, both giving young players highest quality instruction and raising the profile of the sport in the nation with a little star power. Basketball Without Borders will celebrate 15 years this summer and has been all over the globe with similar events.