The 2024 Paris Olympics start in 319 days, and LeBron James wants to be part of it.
According to Shams Charania and Joe Vardon of The Athletic, the 38-year-old Los Angeles Lakers star has a “strong” interest in playing for Team USA during next year’s Summer Olympics, and he doesn’t want to do it alone. He’s reportedly so interested in suiting up for Team USA next year that he’s contacted a handful of fellow NBA stars to recruit them to play with him.
James apparently did not start thinking about the Olympics just because Team USA only placed fourth in the FIBA World Cup after losing to Canada on Sunday. The timing is purely coincidental, as James has reportedly been thinking about this for some time.
While this may have been on James’ mind for a bit, the Team USA’s current roster may have influenced him somewhat. Currently, there is no one on Team USA with prior Olympics experience. And there are just three All-Stars on the entire team. Prior experience and All-Star appearances don’t guarantee success, but Team USA is currently missing some of the star power that indicates they’re ready to take on all comers.
James seems intent on fixing that before the 2024 Paris Olympics. Here’s a list of the players he’s reportedly spoken to about playing in the Olympics.
All five of those players are reportedly also ready to commit to playing on Team USA in Paris alongside James. According to Charania and Vardon, Devin Booker of the Suns, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, Kyrie Irving of the Dallas Mavericks, and De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings also have interest in playing, but were not contacted by James.
All but one person on that list has some level of Olympic experience. Durant has played in the last three Olympics and was MVP of the 2020 team. Green has played in the last two Olympics. Davis won gold with Team USA in 2012, and Tatum did the same in 2020. Curry is the only one who hasn’t played in an Olympics, but he won World Cups with Team USA in 2010 and 2014.
James will be 39 when the Olympics begin, and he and several other possible Team USA stars are reportedly looking at the Paris Games as a “last dance” with USA Basketball. James has played in three Olympics, most recently in London in 2012, and has won two gold medals and a bronze.