The face of USA Basketball, and basketball in general, has been Lebron James for some time now. However, that face will soon be changing if a report from Yahoo’s Marc Spears is true.
Spears is reporting that the reign of the “king” over USA Basketball has come to an end, and that he is “not likely” to appear in the 2016 Olympics. This isn’t a complete shock, as Lebron has appeared in the last 3 Olympics when many players (Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, etc.) have stayed home, but the changing of the guard is looking more official.
Jerry Colangelo, the “chairman” of USA Basketball, announced Tuesday that Kevin Love and Kevin Durant would be participating in the 2014 World Cup. In that announcement, he referred to Durant as “kind of the face of USA Basketball going forward” and the torch appears to be on the move.
I can’t see a scenario where anyone could begrudge James for stepping away. As the grind of deep runs into the NBA Playoffs builds on his body, he’ll need the off-season rest, and many of the big-time stars seemingly see the extra basketball as unnecessary. It wouldn’t be a total shock to see Lebron get the “itch” before 2016 and change course, but for now, we should all plan on seeing USA Basketball take the court without him.