There were concerns that if the lockout is still going on next summer (and there is a real chance of that happening) that the best NBA players would stay away because USA Basketball is seen as a David Stern production.
But if you think the best players are going to miss the chance to win a gold medal — and market themselves on the world’s biggest stage — you underestimate what really matters to players.
LeBron James is in for the 2012 London Olympics, he tells Hoopshype.
I’m committed. I can’t wait for it – to have an opportunity to go to London and defend our gold medal from Beijing. It’s going to be great. I’ve always loved the Olympics just to be around the athletes from all over the world. Not only in my country but to see all of the athletes, it’s so fun… I have a great deal respect for all other athletes that are competing as well.
Kobe Bryant also has said he is in.
You can say it is about pride in their country. You can say it is about competitiveness. You can say it is about legacy. You can say it is all about marketing dollars. The truth is it is a recipe of all of those (you can decide for yourself what is the main ingredient, I tend to think it’s all about the Benjamins) but that makes a dish the best players cannot resist. The USA will send a monster team to London.