LeBron James, who had a shot at winning his third gold medal, has said that he regrets not being a part of Team USA in the ongoing Olympic Games in Rio.
Team USA, which traveled to Brazil sans superstars such as James, Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook, is currently two wins away from securing a gold medal after crushing Argentina in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
“Every time I watch ’em (Team USA), I wish I was out there. I did not retire from Team USA. I just did not play this summer. So I still left the door open,” James told ESPN in an interview which is set to air on ABC’s “Good Morning America” in the coming week.
James was a teenager when he first played in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. TheAmerican team was humbled by Argentina in the quarterfinals and had to settle for Bronze. However, James and Kobe Bryant led the 2008 Redeem Team, and the 2012 Dream Team to gold medals in Beijing and London, respectively.
The current Team USA lacks the leadership and championship credentials of the previous team, with very few players on the team winning an NBA title. However, James admitted that the Olympics stage would prove to be great exposure for younger players vying for their first medals.
LeBron James busy in the offseason
James, who led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first-ever NBA championship in June, spoke about the charitable work he was doing with the LeBron James Family Foundation and why it was important to him to help educate the youth of his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
“I’m similar to these kids in every way, every way, shape or fashion. I walk the same roads as these kids. I breathe the same air as these kids. You know, I understand what they’re going through, growing up in an inner city, and having people just — basically forget them.
“Like, there’s no way they’re gonna make it. I had days where I just felt like it was just me and Mom, you know, and no one cared, and there’s no way that we’re gonna be able to make it outta this,” added James, who has won several humanitarian awards over the last few years for his philanthropy.
LeBron James and the Cavaliers will begin their title defense when the new NBA season opens in October.