LeBron James is returning to USA Basketball, kind of.
According to Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group, when Team USA meets up in Las Vegas next week, James will join a group of stars that also will include teammates Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. He will not, however, participate in Team USA's scrimmage due to prior commitments with the LeBron James Family Foundation. Love and Irving will not play in the scrimmage due to the injuries they suffered in the playoffs.
The purpose of Team USA's gathering is to begin figuring out who will play for Team USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As of now, James has not committed to playing for the Americans in Rio and he may not have to for a while. Team USA executive director Jerry Colangelo, who on Monday said he expected James to be in Las Vegas, told NEOMG that wasn't sure as to what James' Team USA future entails..
"One thing I need to find out: is he desirous, is he committed," Colangelo said in his interview with NEOMG. "I don't know that right now, and I need to find out at some point. An indicator will come next week when we see who shows up."
LeBron has been involved with USA Basketball since 2004, when he made his debut at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. LeBron didn't play much in those first Olympics - he played just 14.6 minutes a game and averaged 5.8 points per game - with the Americans taking home the bronze. When Team USA won gold at both the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Olympics in London, James was arguably the Americans best player on both teams. It is worth noting that he did not partake in last year's FIBA World Cup.
LeBron will be 31 when the next Olympics take place and will have potentially played in his sixth straight NBA Finals roughly six week before the Olympics start on August 5. In theory, we may not know James' decision until sometime after the conclusion of next season.