LeBron James Hints at Possible Olympic Absence After Season-Ending Loss

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Lakers star LeBron James hinted that he may not participate in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics after Los Angeles was eliminated from the NBA postseason on Thursday night. 

James, speaking after L.A.'s 113–100 loss, said, "Nah, I think I'm gonna play for the Tune Squad this summer instead of the Olympics," when asked whether he would participate in games, alluding instead to his upcoming movie Space Jam: A New Legacy.

The Tokyo Olympics are set to begin July 23, one week after the Space Jam sequel premieres. 

James scored 29 points on 11-for-26 shooting and added nine rebounds and seven assists in the Game 6 loss to the Suns. This year's playoff defeat marked the first time in his career that he has lost a postseason series in the first round. 

The 36-year-old James returned to action in the 2021 NBA season after taking just a two-month break following his fourth title last October. This season, he sprained his right ankle in March and missed a total of 26 games before the playoffs.

“It’s been draining,” James said, referring to the past 18 months. “Mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally draining.”

James has won two Olympic gold medals and one Olympic bronze medal with Team USA. While he participated at the Athens, Beijing and London Games, he sat out of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil in the wake of the 2016 NBA finals. 

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