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.
Report: Lakers working toward buyout with Jose Calderon; Warriors, Rockets interested
The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….
Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.
Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.
Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.
There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.
Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)
The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.
The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.
With a couple of minutes left to go in the second quarter, Isaiah Thomas made the steal when DeMar DeRozan lost the ball on a drive, and Thomas was off to the races. Trying to prevent a lay-up, Carroll decided to foul Thomas far from the basket, but did so with a forearm shove that sent Thomas sprawling on the ground.