LeBron James rules out playing 3-on-3 basketball in 2020 Olympics

Ross Houston
June 15, 2017

"I think it's great for basketball", James said Sunday in Oakland, where the Cavaliers were preparing for Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday. James hung up his global jersey after the 2012 London Games to make way for the younger guys and devote all his time to the National Basketball Association. Given his many talents, they've focused more on what he hasn't done rather than what he has, which is why something as silly as not participating in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest has been used as a point against him. I'm more of a 5-on-5 guy. "So probably not. I probably won't be a part of the 3-on-3 matchup".

Although he likely won't participate in 2020, James had no problem answering who he'd like on his team in a 3-on-3 situation: National Basketball Association legends Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. And with a 3-on-3 community already thriving in America and representing the States in FIBA competition, there's also a chance that some amateurs will get the opportunity to play basketball for Team USA.


But the 64 is unlikely to include the best players in the world. Draymond Green believes, however, that the new event gives people outside of the National Basketball Association a chance to compete and win.

"I don't think it's something that I aspire to do, but I think it'll be great for sure", Green said. I'm more of a 5-on-5 guy. So there's going to be a lot of teams that's trying to figure out ways to put personnel together to try and match that if they're able to actually face them in the Playoff series, both Eastern Conference and Western Conference.


"It's great for basketball", he said. As far as what teams are selected and how teams qualify, that's still unclear.

"I don't believe I've played for a superteam", James told reporters, "I don't believe in that". I think that can be like that for 3-on-3. It would be fun to pull out random game film from James and see how many times we can find similar instances of James constantly making reads that lead to critical decisions.


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