LeBron James skipped the Rio Olympics to rest his body after six straight NBA Finals appearances, but he hasn’t officially retired from international play. He recently hinted in an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he’s open to playing for Team USA in Tokyo in 2020, and he followed that up by telling USA Today‘s Jeff Zillgitt that the idea of playing for Gregg Popovich (who is taking over as head coach of the U.S. national team from Mike Krzyzewski following their third straight gold medal in Rio) is very appealing.
In an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, James left the door open for a return to the U.S. basketball team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and in a subsequent interview with USA TODAY Sports, James said, “It would be pretty amazing to be able to actually play for the greatest NBA coach of all time.”
“First off all Coach K and Gregg Popovich are two my favorites of all time,” James said. “To be able to play for Coach K in the Olympics and world championships and to be able to go against Coach Pop in the NBA, it would be a treat. Obviously my body has to continue to be in the form that it is today four years from now.”
It’s a nice thought, but it’s worth keeping in mind that James will be 35 and coming off his 18th season in the NBA in 2020, and already has a lot of miles on his body with his workload not looking to decrease anytime soon. James would probably love to play for Popovich in the Olympics, but the odds are against it actually happening from a physical standpoint.