LeBron James is expected to miss USA Basketball’s minicamp to be held in Las Vegas next week, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
James, who won two gold medals in 2008 and 2012 under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, will miss the first practices with new head coach Gregg Popovich. James did not play in the 2016 Games in Rio.
James, who was in Las Vegas on Sunday to watch the Los Angeles Lakers play a Summer League game, is expected to make his first comments about his move from Cleveland to Los Angeles on July 30 when he is hosting the grand opening of the I PROMISE School in Akron, Ohio, a public school created through his charity the LeBron James Family Foundation.
It will be the first official USA Basketball gathering with Gregg Popovich as the head coach. James played for Larry Brown on the 2004 bronze medal team at the Athens Olympics, for which Popovich served as an assistant. James then won back-to-back golds, in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
James did not play on the 2016 USA Basketball team that won gold in Rio.
James was one of the 35 names included in the player pool that the USA Basketball men’s national team released in April. From that pool, a 12-man roster will be selected for the 2019 World Cup in China and 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
In recent events, James changed the landscape of the NBA when he signed a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers earlier this month.
While the Lakers have gone five years without making the playoffs, the longest stretch in franchise history, the addition of James instantly makes them a legitimate contender.
According to OddsShark, Los Angeles has the fourth-best odds to win the 2019 NBA title at +650 (win $650 on a $100 bet).
In lieu of attending the Team USA minicamp, James is also getting a head start on the year by speaking to the head coach and planning out a course of action.