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Jerry Colangelo on LeBron James in Olympics: ‘I think his time is over’ with Team USA

LeBron James at 2012 Olympics

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: LeBron James #6 of the United States celebrates after the Men’s Basketball gold medal game between the United States and Spain on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympics Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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LeBron James played for Team USA in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics. He said sometimes regretted skipping the 2016 Olympics.

Still, he won’t play in the Tokyo Games.

Will he play in the Olympics again?

USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo, via ESPN:

“You know, Father Time takes its toll,” Colangelo said of the 36-year-old star. "... If you’re a human being, your body is built to go so long depending on what your sport is, and then it’s a downhill situation. LeBron made choices these last couple of Olympics not to participate because he’s got a lot of things going on in his life. So he put in his time, he made a contribution that is appreciated, but I think his time is over.”

Is Colangelo basing this on conversations with LeBron or merely assuming? Either seems possible.

Nobody has played for Team USA in the Olympics past age 35. LeBron will be 39 for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Nobody has skipped two Olympics then returned to Team USA. LeBron would top the one-Olympic breaks of Michael Jordan (1984, 1992), Patrick Ewing (1984, 1992), Chris Mullin (1984, 1992), Mitch Richmond (1988, 1996), Jason Kidd (2000, 2008) and Kevin Love (2012, 2020).

So, it seems sound to presume LeBron is finished with the Olympics.

But he has defied aging at every turn.

Unless LeBron told Colangelo he plans not to play in Paris, I wouldn’t absolutely rule it out.