LOS ANGELES, 7 June 2021 (AFP) – Two Los Angeles Lakers stars, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, will not defend the United States of Colors at the Olympic basketball tournament in Tokyo, various local media reported on Monday.
Having finished prematurely in the first round of the playoffs on a losing streak against the Phoenix Suns, the pair are on leave after a difficult season, during which each suffered an injury, so they will not be part of the ‘dream team’ which Will defend Olympic gold received in Rio-2016, website The Athletic said citing sources close to the players.
LeBron, 36, suffered a severe right ankle sprain, leaving him off the court for a month. He recovered in time for the playoffs, which he played without being 100% fit.
Davis first suffered a major swelling in the right Achilles tendon that went into the calf. Absent for two months, he also managed to come back against Phoenix, but injured his groin during Game 4.
Davis returned for Game 6, but lasted only a few minutes due to pain, leaving the game to continue, in which his team was defeated and eliminated.
When the match ended, LeBron was asked if he could join the United States squad this summer, he jokingly replied, “No, I think I’ll be in the Tune squad this summer instead of the Olympics.” I’ll play for” in an allusion to “Space Jam: A New Legacy”, a film that brings together real and animated images of which it is the protagonist and whose one week before the start of the Olympic Games (July 23 to August 8) ) should premiere in US cinemas.
Gold medalist in Beijing-2008 and London-2012, LeBron did not play in the Rio Games after his third NBA coronation with Cleveland.
Davis, who was also the Olympic champion in 2012, was also ruled out in 2016 because of surgery on his left shoulder.
In March, the American Basketball Federation compiled a list of 57 selected for 12 spots on the US national team.
According to The Athletic, Stephen Curry and Damien Lillard, whose seasons also ended with Golden State and Portland, could be among those.
The former may win the first Olympic gold medal, while the latter is said to be “very interested”.