Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Updated: April 1, 1:24 PM ET
James likely skipping worlds
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James has a busy summer ahead. Maybe too busy to play basketball.
Cleveland's superstar said Wednesday night that he's "probably not playing" for Team USA this summer in the world championships in Turkey. James, who was a captain on the U.S. team that won a gold medal at the Beijing Games in 2008, is eligible for free agency after the season and is scheduled to film a movie.
His crammed itinerary may make it impossible to play for his country for the fourth time. James also was a member of the 2004 Olympic team in Athens -- and choosing not to take part this summer could jeopardize his chances of playing in London in 2012.
"I got a really, really, really, really, really busy summer," James said about an hour before tip-off against the Milwaukee Bucks. "I would love if I had the opportunity and the time to play to represent my country and go out there and do that. But there's a lot of things I need to take care of first."
So will he play?
"It's very, very shady right now," he said. "I'm probably not playing. There are a lot of decisions I need to make this summer before I decide to get back out on the court."
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said he won't worry about who is playing until July, when the Americans report to training camp. He was already aware that players such as James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh might be unavailable while dealing with free agency.
However, Colangelo also warned that blowing off the world championships without a good reason and then playing in the Olympics wouldn't be allowed, just as it wasn't last time around.
"Same thing has to apply here," he said.
"If someone chooses not to play this summer just because he chooses not to play, there's no guarantee he'll be in London."
James was one of the few Americans to play all three summers from 2006-08, but Colangelo said there are "no free passes, regardless who it is." Colangelo said he hadn't heard from James, but doesn't need to right now.
"Why speculate now when it's still too early?" he said. "I don't even care at this point. I'll care when we get to July."