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Tokyo 2020: Why is LeBron James not playing at the Olympic Games?

LeBron James may never play for Team USA again. Why has he not featured at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games?

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Tokyo 2020: Why is LeBron James not playing at the Olympic Games?

LeBron James’s name was not included when USA Basketball announced their 12-player roster for the men’s team to compete in Tokyo.

He had already signaled that he did not plan to participate when he told reporters following his Los Angeles Lakers’ playoff loss to the Phoenix Suns, “I think I’m going to play for the Toon Squad instead of the Olympics.” That was a reference to James’s starring role in “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” which was released in mid-July.

King James rests ankle

The 36-year-old basketball star also said he wanted to get more rest to recover from an ankle injury that cost him most of the second half of the regular season. James reaggravated that injury just before the postseason began. Reaggravating the injury during the last game of the regular season saw him decide to rest his body ahead of the 2021-22 season. The Los Angeles Lakers star, along with others such as Stephen Curry, James Harden and Chris Paul, took the decision to rest and recover from gruelling seasons.

After the LA Lakers were ousted in the first round of the NBA playoffs, LeBron used his post-series press conference to say he was sitting out of the 2021 Olympics.

Although the USA team that travelled to Japan was still packed with stars from the NBA, it arrived at the event in Tokyo without many of the league’s biggest names, including the world’s most famous player, LeBron.

LeBron at the Olympics

The superstar has already won three Olympic medals, but sat out Rio 2016. It is unlikely to we will ever see him play for Team USA again. James has played 68 games for Team USA. The 2004 Olympics was his first, when Team USA lost to Argentina in the semi-finals and they settled for a bronze medal, before he went on to lead the team to gold in the 2008 and 2012 Games.