Team USA basketball began preparations Wednesday in Las Vegas for the 2014 World Cup, and while 28 players joined coach Mike Krzyzewski and Team USA executive director Jerry Colangelo, LeBron James is not among them, nor is he expected to be.
Yahoo Sports reported Wednesday night that James likely will not participate in the World Cup, and likely will not be on board to help Team USA go for a third straight gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
Colangelo gave credence to the report, telling Yahoo he has no expectations of James participating next summer and adding that he isn't even planning on asking him to do so.
The move is not a huge shock, as James will turn 30 in 2014 and is entering a stage of his career when his time during the offseason may be better spent resting and recovering from the grind of an NBA season than in international play.
Beyond that, James has already won two Olympic gold medals with Team USA (in 2008 and 2012), helping bring the U.S. back to the top of international basketball after a decade-long stretch in the wilderness.
Colangelo is not particularly concerned with James' absence, as it will open the door for another young and hungry up-and-comer.
"There should be turnover each competition because then the young players can see that happening," Colangelo told the Associated Press Sunday night. "They can say, 'If I progress as a player and if I'm part of this program and culture, I'll have a chance to compete.'"
Colangelo certainly would not mind if LeBron has a change of heart, though. "I don't think he will ever (be) too old," he told Yahoo. "He can be 40 and still be able to play."
Besides James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh may also be done with international competition. Both missed the 2012 Olympics while recovering from lingering injuries sustained during the 2012 season, and like James, would benefit from extra offseason rest in the coming years.