LeBron James says he sometimes regrets skipping Rio Olympics, considering 2020 return to Team USA


After plenty of back-and-forth thinking, LeBron James opted to sit out the Rio Olympics.

It sounds like he’s still going back-and-forth.

LeBron on Team USA, via a Rachel Nichols interview that will air tomorrow on ABC’s Good Morning America:

“Every time I watch ’em I wish I was out there…I did not retire from Team USA. I just did not play this summer. So I still left the door open.”

LeBron will be 35 in 2020, which would make him the oldest American Olympic men’s basketball player since Larry Bird in 1992. I’m skeptical about LeBron playing for Team USA in Tokyo.

But USA Basketball holds him in high regard, and he might not need to fully earn a spot. Even if it’s based on merit, LeBron is declining from such a high peak, he could be one of the Americans’ top players four years from now.

The bigger issue is whether LeBron will want to play. He just led the Cavaliers to back-to-back Finals, and his team figures to run the East for a while. That’s a lot of mileage to rack up between the NBA regular season and playoffs, let alone adding Olympic play.

LeBron, like many watching on television, has been thrilled by the Rio Games. As that excitement dissipates and reality sets in a few years from now, he’ll be more prone to focus on his health and remaining NBA years.