NBA superstar LeBron James, who led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the greatest-ever NBA Finals comeback to dethrone the Golden State Warriors, has reportedly told USA Basketball he will not play at the Rio Olympics.
Cleveland.com reported on Thursday that James’s agent Rich Paul told Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo of the decision on Thursday.
“I could use the rest,” James told the website.
James cited in part the grind of having logged so much court time through six consecutive trips to the NBA Finals, including rallying the Cavaliers from a 3-1 deficit in the best-of-seven final to a stunning seventh-game triumph for the NBA crown.
He did not mention fears of contracting the Zika virus as a reason for not going to Rio. Top golfer Rory McIlroy has cited Zika as his reason for not competing in the Summer Games.
James, 31, sparked the US squad of NBA stars to gold medals at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.
He was also a reserve on the 2004 US team that settled for bronze at Athens and on the US team that finished third at the 2010 world championships in Japan.
James is one of three men to play on three Olympic basketball teams and in 2012, he became one of the select few to win an NBA crown and Olympic gold in the same year.
He is the US team’s all-time scoring leader with 273 points and second in career rebounds with 95.
Golden State star Steph Curry has already said he will not play for Team USA in Rio.