LeBron James Leaves Door Open for 2016 Olympics Participation

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2014

LeBron James' days with Team USA may not be over after all.

Or they could be. He just isn't sure yet.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported over the summer that James' Olympic career had "likely ended," but the King himself said it's too early to make any kind of decision.

"I don't know where I stand for 2016," he said, via Charlie McCarthy of FOX Sports Florida. "Obviously, if I'm healthy in 2016 that summer, if I can get to leading our country by playing, then that would be great to be a part of that."

In James' world, two years feels more like a century. If you believe him, he hasn't started thinking about this summer yet, as per ESPN.com's Chris Broussard.

His next decision—whether to opt out of his current contract with the Miami Heat and enter free agency—will be decided by a number of factors: Dwyane Wade's health, Miami's championship potential, the business and basketball opportunities offered to him by potential suitors.

His Olympic decision may hinge on one thing: mileage.

The 29-year-old is in the midst of his 11th NBA season. Throw in the eight different playoff trips he's made, and that puts another 138 games under his belt. He's also participated in each of the last three Olympic Games, picking up a pair of gold medals in the process.

Oh, and because he's apparently not bound by time constraints like the rest of us, he's scheduled to start shooting his first movie this summer.

On Thursday, James was one of 28 players named to the pool of players from which the 2016 Team USA roster will be selected, via Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Given that development, his status for the 2016 games was something that needed to be asked.

Still, that's like asking him about another lifetime.

"I can't commit to it right now," he said, via McCarthy.

Assuming his body would allow it, what could possibly bring the King back to Team USA? Well, it could give him a(nother) unique entry into the basketball history books.

"If he gets a third gold he would have more than any other USA Basketball player in history—Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and others have two, but not three," NBC Sports' Kurt Helin noted. "For a guy at the point in his career where he is trying to define his legacy, that could be a real motivation."

Not to mention, he's a savvy enough businessman to recognize marketing gold when he sees it.

But, this isn't a call he can make just yet. He has some more pressing decisions to ponder first.

 

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