LeBron James has been told in no uncertain terms that a spot on the 2016 Olympic roster to play for USA Basketball is his if he wants it.
The question is, will he want it?
James has said that family and health (in that order) will determine whether or not he chooses to compete in Rio next summer. But Charles Barkley is among those who believe he should skip it, and wonders why it's so important for the U.S. to win the gold medal in the first place.
"I think it's silly they're making these guys play three and four Olympics," Barkley said, in an interview with SiriusXM NBA radio. "LeBron James does not need to play in the Olympics. The guy's played five Finals in a row. What good does it do him to go to the Olympics and stress his body out?"
"First of all, it ain't like the world is going to end if we don't win the Olympics," Barkley continued. "We don't have to win the gold medal."
Barkley's overall point was that as players get older, especially those like James who already have one or more Olympic gold medals to their name, there's no need for them to put the extra miles on their bodies. Send younger guys, Barkley says, and we'll probably still bring home the gold.
But if we don't, who really cares?
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