LeBron James' Olympic Career 'Is Over,' USA Basketball Director Predicts: 'Father Time Takes Its Toll'

LeBron James competed in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, winning bronze and two golds with Team USA

Lebron James
Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With LeBron James entering the final chapter of his professional basketball career, at least one Olympic official doesn't expect him to participate in the Summer Games one last time.

During an interview with ESPN, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said the 36-year-old Los Angeles Lakers star — who has suited up for Team USA in three Olympics — won't likely do so again.

"You know, Father Time takes its toll," Colangelo said of James, a four-time NBA champion. "... 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."

Colangelo continued, "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."

Tokyo 2020
Tokyo 2020 Olympics logo. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty

James took bronze at the 2004 Olympics before earning two consecutive gold medals with the team in 2008 and 2012.

Despite Team USA's success on the court, the Space Jam: A New Legacy star previously chose not to participate in the past two Olympics: the 2016 Games in Rio De Janeiro and this year's event in Tokyo.

Just before the 2016 Olympics, James and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors to win an NBA title. It was his sixth straight appearance in the NBA Finals, and he'd reach the championship round again in 2017 and 2018.

While James' Lakers won the NBA title in 2020, the 2020-21 season was plagued by injuries for the Lakers.

James missed dozens of games during the season due to an ankle injury, while his teammate Anthony Davis experienced his own ailments. The injuries proved too much, and the Lakers were knocked out of this year's playoffs in the first round.

James will be approaching his 40th birthday by the 2024 Olympics, and it may be hard to imagine the tournament being appealing to him at that age. But Team USA may be in good hands for the Tokyo Olympics, at least.

Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Damian Lillard and Kevin Love will all highlight this year's roster.

To learn more about all the Olympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.org. The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23rd on NBC.

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