Every move executed by LeBron James is closely monitored and his recent appearance in Las Vegas to watch the Los Angeles Lakers participate in an NBA Summer League game was a spectacular reminder of his gravity. However, James reportedly won’t be sticking around the desert long enough to participate in a USA Basketball minicamp scheduled later this month.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN brings word that, despite his inclusion on a 35-member roster list, James won’t be present at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center when things begin on July 25. While James’ absence is undoubtedly newsworthy, it is also anything but surprising, especially given his stated preference to make his first public comments since signing with the Lakers at a school opening on July 30 in his hometown of Akron.
Beyond that, James hasn’t been active with Team USA lately, sitting out the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro as the team brought home a gold medal. Of course, there is undoubtedly an “open door” policy for the best (and most famous) player on the planet if he wants to participate, but it would have been legitimately stunning if he chose to do so in a minicamp two years before the next Olympics.
There have been rumblings since 2016 that James could return to international competition at some point and it could still happen in 2019 (for the World Cup) or 2020 if he chooses to make it so. However, it would probably be wise to assume that James is done with that stage in his career unless he states otherwise.