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Jerry Colangelo: LeBron James has spot in 2016 Olympics if he wants it

Olympics Day 16 - Basketball

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: LeBron James #6 of the US Men’s Senior National Team poses with his Gold Medal after their Men’s Gold Medal Basketball Game against Spain on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the North Greenwich Arena on August 12, 2012 in London, England. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

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USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo believes LeBron James wants to be part of Team USA.

Does that mean LeBron – who turns 31 before the 2016 Olympics and has significant mileage – is a lock for Rio?

Colangelo, in a Q&A with Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Q: Do you expect LeBron James to be playing for USA in the Olympics next year?

Colangelo: He is one of the greatest players of all time. If he wants to be on the team, how is he not going to be on the team? It’s really not my call. It’s really his call. If that is still important to him and what he wants to do, I truly believe that’s what he wants, than he will be there.

Q: Has James said he will be playing in the 2016 Rio Olympics?

Colangelo: I think he is intent on wanting to play for USA Basketball and be in the Olympics next year.


The first step is attending Team USA’s minicamp next month, which Colangelo has deemed mandatory for Olympic inclusion. LeBron doesn’t have to play, and I doubt he would. He just has to show up.

That will buy him time to make this decision, and as we all expected, it’s his decision. LeBron has been too good and has been too important to USA Basketball to leave him home. Even as the talent pool rises, LeBron is a lock – if he wants to play.