Report: Lakers' LeBron James to Skip USA Basketball Minicamp in Las Vegas

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2018

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 12:  LeBron James #27 of the 2015 USA Basketball Men's National Team attends a practice session at the Mendenhall Center on August 12, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

USA Basketball will have its first minicamp with Gregg Popovich as its head coach from July 25-27 in Las Vegas, but LeBron James will reportedly not be among those in attendance.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com reported the news, noting the four-time MVP and new Los Angeles Lakers signee is one of 35 players included in a roster pool released by USA Basketball in April. Popovich and the staff will eventually have to trim the 35 players into a 12-man roster prior to the 2019 World Cup and 2020 Olympics.

While James didn't play in the 2016 Games in Rio, he is no stranger to international play and Olympic medals.

He laced it up for the team that won the bronze medal in the 2004 Athens Games under head coach Larry Brown and was part of the gold-winning rosters in 2008 (Beijing) and 2012 (London). Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski was the head coach in the two gold-medal efforts.

Skipping minicamp does not necessarily rule out James for future play for the Red, White and Blue, either, but it is notable he didn't play in the 2016 Games and has plenty of miles on his legs at 33 years old after appearing in all 82 games during the 2017-18 regular season and leading his team to his eighth consecutive NBA Finals.

Maximizing rest during the offseason is the surest way for James to be relatively fresh for his new team come the start of the season. What's more, James is in the discussion for the best player in NBA history and figures to have a spot on the 12-man roster should he choose to participate in 2019 and 2020.

For now, his focus is on leading the Lakers to the postseason for the first time since the 2012-13 campaign when Kobe Bryant was still on the roster.

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