LeBron James won’t play for Popovich, US Olympic team this summer, says ‘I’m gonna play for the Tune Squad instead’

LeBron James indicates he will not play for US Men’s Olympic team this summer in Tokyo

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
(AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – The next time you see LeBron James on a basketball court, it will likely be in the new “Space Jam” movie and not at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

The NBA and LA Lakers superstar indicated on Thursday night that he was not planning to play for the U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball Team that will be led by San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.

After the Lakers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Phoenix Suns, James was asked if he would be participating in the Tokyo games and used the opportunity to plug his upcoming movie, “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”

“I think I’m gonna play for the Tune Squad this summer instead of the Olympics,” James said.

James then joked that his “focus is on trying to beat the MonStars, or the Goon Squad. I’m gearing my attention to the Goon Squad in mid-July.”

James has competed in the Olympics for Team USA three times: 2004, 2008 and 2012. He was on the U.S. Olympic team with Tim Duncan in 2004.

In March, USA Basketball announced 57 finalists for U.S. Olympic Men’s Team. The list included current Spurs players DeMar DeRozan and Derrick White. DeRozan was a member of the U.S. men’s team that won the Gold Medal in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

The official 12-member U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team roster will be announced after training camp in July. The team will be led by Popovich and serving as USA assistant coaches are Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, former Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce and Villanova University head coach Jay Wright.

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About the Author:

RJ Marquez has been at KSAT since 2010. He's covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area, and is the lead reporter for KSAT Explains. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms. You can see RJ regularly on KSAT Explains and Good Morning San Antonio. He also writes a weekly Spurs newsletter.