King James will not be going for gold this summer.
In 2012, LeBron James joined a select few basketball greats to win a NBA Championship and an Olympic gold medal in the same year – a stunning achievement he’s not looking to repeat in 2016.
On Thursday, James’ agent informed Team USA that the Cavs star would not be playing in this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, citing his exhausting schedule topped off by six consecutive trips to the NBA finals, according to Cleveland.com
“I could use the rest,” James, 31, told the news outlet.
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James is one of just three players to play in three Olympics with Team USA – he joined teams that won gold medals in 2012 and 2008 and scored bronze in 2004.
The Cleveland native earned his third NBA championship on Sunday night when he led the Cavaliers to their first NBA title with a game 7 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
A source close to James told Cleveland.com that the Finals MVP decided to skip the games in order to rest up from his championship run and prepare for what he hopes will be another triumphant run at the finals with the Cavs next season. The source added that looming concerns about the Zika virus did not influence James’ decision.
Other team finalists who have declined to play in Rio include Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge and Chris Paul. While NBA stars who have committed to joining team U.S.A. include Carmelo Anthony, DeAndre Jordan, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson,
Anthony, who joined James in gold medal wins at the 2012 and 2008 games now has a chance to become the first men’s basketball player to win three Olympic gold medals. While Anthony said last month that he may skip the games over Zika concerns, sources told ESPN on Thursday that he would be playing in Rio.
USA basketball will officially announce its 12-man roster for this summer’s Olympic Games next week.