After previously stating he wasn’t sure he was going to be part of the 2016 Team USA squad following the conclusion of the Olympics, LeBron James may have already changed his mind.
Unlike the Dunk Contest he stated he would join but later declined, this change-of-heart is for the better. It’s not just better for the American basketball team’s chances of winning a third consecutive gold medal, but for the legacy he’ll leave behind as one of the league’s greatest player. If he wins another gold medal, he’ll become the first NBA player to win three gold’s unless Carmelo Anthony, who won in 2008 and ’12, also joins the 2016 team.
He would also finish with the most points ever scored by an American in the Olympics. James is currently seven points behind David Robinson behind for the top spot, but ‘The Admiral’ only needed three Olympic’s to do so. LeBron will have been in his fourth if he takes part in the 2016 games.
James recently stated his feelings concerning his chances of playing in another Olympic games:
“We haven’t had that conversation. But if I’m healthy, I did the math and I’ll be 31, and if I have the opportunity to be out there, I will do it. I love it. I love being a part of it and representing my country. I don’t know what may happen in four years, but it would be great to be back out there again. Definitely.”
LeBron is referring to ‘We’ as himself and Jerry Colangelo, the USA basketball chairman.
It’s impossible to predict what’s going to happening in four years. We don’t even know if James will still be on the Miami Heat, although it’s doubtful with the first championship and the likelihood of more titles, but we do know that LeBron should still be a threat to be reckoned with at the age of 31. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kevin Durant is playing at LeBron’s level or possibly even at a higher level.
‘KD’ would be 27-years-old and just entering the prime of his career. We can only guess as to how vastly he’ll improve within the next four seasons. What might work against him, however, would be the experience LeBron would have garnered between then. While Durant would be gaining both physically and mentally, James seems to have finally turned a corner this past season and that should only aid him in his game over the next four seasons.
Most importantly, the Olympics are still four years from now. We should continue to revel in the success of the Americans winning another gold medal and keeping basketball supremacy in the States for another four years. If LeBron James wants to join the team, he’ll play a large part, but it’s also going to be interesting to see him on a roster with the likes of Durant, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving and whoever else may be considered quality enough to join the team.