After six straight NBA Finals, seven in the past nine years, and two Olympic summers mixed in between, LeBron James needs a break.
The best player in the NBA officially withdrew himself from consideration for one of the final 12 roster spots Thursday, telling Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon he “could use a rest.”
Sources told Vardon that James’ agent, Rich Paul, informed USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo of his decision Thursday, while James contacted Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski himself.
Vardon added that sources close to James said his sole reason for not participating was due to the need and desire for rest and had nothing to do with concerns over Zika virus or political unrest in Brazil.
James, 31, is Team USA’s all-time leading scorer, won bronze at the 2004 Olympics, gold in 2008 and 2012, and competed in the FIBA World Championships in 2006.
He’s just the latest NBA star to decline an invitation to Rio, joining the likes of Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Kawhi Leonard and Damian Lillard.
Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images