LeBron James won't be making the trip to China this off-season to play for Team USA at the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Despite James' season ending early with the Los Angeles Lakers missing the playoffs, the 34-year-old has a busy schedule off the court coming up.
This means that he will also miss Team USA's trip to Australia, where the Gregg Popovich coached squad is set to play two exhibition games in Melbourne against the Australian national team ahead of the World Cup.
"I love everything about Pop, obviously, but this is not a good summer for me," James told Joe Vardon of the Athletic.
James, who is set to begin filming Space Jam 2 in the off-season, was already a slim chance to play at the World Cup, however, he has not ruled out suiting up for Team USA in Tokyo at the 2020 Olympic Games.
"Yeah, that's a possibility," James added. "It depends on how I feel. I love the Olympics."
2020 would make it four Olympic appearances for James, who won gold medals in 2008 and 2012, plus a bronze medal at the 2004 Games in Athens.
James skipped the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, opting to rest after winning an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in a seven-game series against the Golden State Warriors.
This will be the first time James is not playing in the playoffs since 2005, a run which included eight consecutive trips to the NBA Finals.
The Lakers are currently 35-42 on the season, with the team opting to sit James out for the remainder of the season in order to allow his groin to fully heal. James missed 17 consecutive games this season after suffering the injury in their Christmas Day win over the Warriors.
He finished the season averaging 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists in his first campaign in the purple and gold, passing Michael Jordan for fourth on the NBA's all-time scoring list along the way.