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NBA superstar LeBron James ‘committed’ to Paris Olympics 2024 role with USA Basketball

LeBron James Makes History, Surpassing NBA's All-Time Scoring Record
Feb 7, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) speaks after breaking the record for all-time scoring in the NBA during the third quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Two-time gold medalist LeBron James says he is on track to play for the USA at the Paris Olympics 2024 this summer and will apply his “mind, body and soul” to the Games if he takes part.

Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James is set to be one of the most high-profile sports stars at the Olympics but has emphasised that his health will be his priority when he decides whether to play.

“As it stands right now, I am healthy enough to be on the team and perform at a level I know I can perform at,” said James, speaking before a brief appearance in the NBA All-Stars Game as his Western Conference team lost 211-186 to their Eastern Conference opponents.

“I told myself before the season, when I committed to being part of the Olympic team, it was all predicated on my health.”

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James won bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics as a teenager before successive titles at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, becoming the all-time leading scorer for his country in men’s basketball history.

USA have won gold at the last four editions and are heavy favourites to triumph again in July and August even without James.

“It’s more miles put on these tires,” the 39-year-old said of the prospect of playing. “But if I’m committed — which I am — to Team USA, then I’m going to commit my mind, body and soul to being out there representing our country with the utmost respect and to go out there and play.”

LeBron James retirement ‘not mapped out’

The situation could be complicated if James’ team, the Los Angeles Lakers, have an extended season, which could leave their talisman with weeks rather than months to prepare for an event which will reduce the amount of rest and preparation time he has for the 2024/25 NBA campaign.

“I have not mapped out how many seasons I have left – I know it’s not that many,” he said before appearing in a record 20th All-Star Game. “I’ve been very happy being a Laker over the last six years. But I don’t have an answer to how long [my career] is or which uniform I’ll be in.

“Hopefully it will be with the Lakers because it’s a great organisation, but we’ll see. I don’t know how it’s going to end. But it’s coming.”

James confirmed that an ankle injury had limited his involvement in the All-Stars Game. “I received treatment throughout the last few days, trying to get my ankle strong and as back to where I feel confident that I can finish this last third of the season.

“I’m seeking some more treatment this week, because we have quite a few days. I’ll see how that goes. With our Lakers team, it’s been about health all year. It’s about doing what’s best for me for the betterment of the team.”

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