LeBron James was visibly gassed by the end of the Los Angeles Lakers’ Game 6 loss to the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs on Thursday.
After the game, James said that he would not compete in the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, admitting that a regular offseason was necessary. Instead, he referenced “Space Jam 2,” which will be released this summer.
“I think I’m going to play for the Tune Squad this summer instead of the Olympics,” James said, via Bleacher Report’s Sean Highkin. “We’re gonna gear up to beat the MonStars, or the Goon Squad, I guess they’re called now.”
The Olympics are scheduled to begin on July 23. The USA Basketball roster has not yet been set as the NBA postseason could extend until July 22 if the NBA Finals goes a full seven games.
James won gold with Team USA in 2012 and 2008 and took home bronze in 2004.
LeBron James, Anthony Davis injuries derail Lakers
The Lakers had the shortest offseason in NBA history after winning the 2019-20 championship in the bubble last summer. They had just 71 days between hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy in Orlando to opening the 2020-21 season in an empty Staples Center.
James missed significant time this season with a high ankle sprain and tweaked it in the final regular-season game. That coupled with Anthony Davis’ groin strain loomed over the Lakers’ chances at repeating as champs.
The No. 2-seeded Suns sent James packing in the opening round for the first time in his career with a 113-100 win in Game 6 on Thursday to close out the 4-2 series win. The Suns will face the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals, starting Monday in Phoenix.
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