LeBron James Returning to Team USA in 2020 Because of Gregg Popovich?

Credit: Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)

Credit: Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)

LeBron James Returning to Team USA in 2020 Because of Gregg Popovich?


Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich have had a number of big game encounters over their careers and have growing respect for one another.

LeBron James battled Popovich’s Spurs during the 2007 NBA Finals with Cleveland losing 4-0. Then, in 2013 and 2014, the two met again with James as a member of the Miami Heat. In 2013, Miami took out San Antonio, 4-3, having James won his second of three championships. The next year, San Antonio came back with a vengeance overcoming Miami in the Finals, 4-1.

With Popovich taking over Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski’s position as head coach of the United States Men’s National Team in 2020, LeBron James might come out of Team USA retirement. James, who always wanted to be a member of a Gregg Popovich-lead squad, could get his opportunity in 2020.


“It factors a lot,” James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I’ve said that before. He’s just a great mastermind of the game of basketball.”


LeBron James skipped the 2016 Rio Olympics because of his championship run with the Cleveland Cavaliers that drained him. If he did compete, he would have played basketball almost all-year long.

Popovich spoke on he and James’ rivalry and the respect they have earned between each other.


“We’ve had a lot of fun over the years going back and forth on the court, so I respect the hell out of him,” Popovich said of James. “I’ve really enjoyed his progression, because now he truly is ‘The King.’ In the beginning he wasn’t. Everybody tried to make him that. He handled it really well. That was a tough situation for a young guy to be in like that. But the fact that he rose to that level and earned it, I think is very appropriate and really a tribute to him.”


If LeBron James were to return to Team USA for Tokyo 2020, he’d be 36 years old and possibly the oldest player on the squad.



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