Friday, May 24, 2024

Lakers’ LeBron James, Anthony Davis reportedly joining Team USA’s Olympic roster

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NEW ORLEANS — During NBA All-Star Weekend two months ago, Lakers star LeBron James made his stance clear on committing to Team USA for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games: his pledge would depend on his health after his 21st NBA season.

“I told myself before the season when I committed to being a part of the Olympic team, obviously it was all predicated on my health,” James said on Feb. 18. “As it stands right now, I am healthy enough to be on the team and perform at a level that I knew I could perform at.”

Anthony Davis made it clear that same weekend that he would be happy to play for Team USA again.

“I told the USA committee, whoever called me,” Davis said on Feb. 17, “that if they ask me to go, I’ll go.”

It appears James still feels healthy enough to compete in the Olympics and that Davis was asked for a commitment, with the duo reportedly part of the 12-player Team USA roster that was being finalized on Monday.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that James and Davis will team up with Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry, Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, Suns guard Devin Booker, Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards, Celtics guard Jrue Holiday and Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo.

Tatum, Durant, Booker, Holiday and Adebayo return from the team that won gold at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. The Paris Games will be the first Olympics for Curry, who was expected to play for Team USA in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, but opted out because of knee and ankle injuries. This will also be the first Olympics for Embiid, who committed in October to play for Team USA over France and his native Cameroon. Embiid holds dual citizenship between USA and France.

Wojnarowski’s report added that Team USA might initially keep one spot open.

James, who turned 39 in December, is a three-time Olympian and two-time gold medalist.

The four-time NBA MVP hasn’t played for Team USA since 2012, but his interest in playing for the squad again was known before Team USA’s disappointing fourth-place finish in last summer’s FIBA World Cup.

James won gold medals with Team USA at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games. He was also part of the Team USA squads that won bronze in the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2006 FIBA World Championship (now known as the World Cup).

Davis is a one-time Olympian, winning gold with Team USA in ’12. The nine-time All-Star was also part of the Team USA squad that won gold in the 2014 World Cup.

The U.S. has won the gold in four consecutive Olympics and seven of eight since NBA players were made eligible to play in Olympic tournaments starting with the 1992 Games.

“The one thing I know for sure, I don’t have to carry the load,” James said during All-Star weekend. “I’ve never had to carry the load on any one of the three teams I’ve been on, the ’04 team, the ’08 team and the ’12 team. I just try to do my best and be as great as I can be on the floor in the minutes I’m out there.

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