Interesting situation playing out here. I think LeBron is starting to realize he's bitten off more than he can chew.
A second kid on the way, year round basketball, and a very aggressive lifestyle outside of all that ... chock full of late night TV show appearances, awards cermonies, Nike commitments, commercial shoots, and other various business ventures.
His quest to become the "first billion dollar athlete" is already wearing on him. And he should still be a senior in college.
Slow it down LBJ. You're only 22. Take the qualifying tourney off, and if Colangelo doesn't like it, too bad. Call his bluff about leaving you off the team.
Prediction here is that he still plays though. Financially, he's got alot invested in China, where hes slangin' the LBJ brand hard in anticipation of him being over there for the Olympics. I don't think Colangelo will give him a verbal guarantee that he won't boot him for '08, and if thats the case, he plays in the qualifying tourney this summer.
http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/sports/bas ... 024426.htm
LeBron, Team USA at odds
James undecided whether he'll play in qualifier for Olympics; official expects vow to be honored
By Brian Windhorst
Beacon Journal sportswriter
MINNEAPOLIS - There's apparently a bit of a standoff developing between LeBron James and USA Basketball.
James, one of Team USA's three captains, has wavered on his intentions for this summer's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Las Vegas. Team USA Director Jerry Colangelo got a three-year commitment from James and 23 other members of the national team roster before last year's FIBA World Championship that includes this summer and next year's Olympics.
Perhaps in response to James' thoughts, Colangelo has said he expects the players to honor the promise or risk being left off the Olympic roster.
``Unless people have a legitimate reason for not participating, I expect them to uphold their three-year commitment,'' Colangelo told ESPN.com. ``If someone chooses not to participate just because they'd rather not play, that person would put himself at risk as far as who ultimately represents us at the Olympics.''
Last week in front of the New York media, James updated his thoughts on the summer: ``Right now, I'm 50-50. My girlfriend is expecting another [baby] in June. Health is always an issue. You have to re-evaluate things, go through the season, go through the playoffs and then look at it afterward.''
James has battled a series of injuries this season, including tendinitis in both knees, elbow bursitis, a toe sprain and back spasms. The nagging injuries and the addition to the family seem to have given James pause. He also has said at different times over the last two months that the tournament's site being switched from Venezuela to Vegas and the loss of co-captain Dwyane Wade are factors in his decision.
Down the hall Tuesday, Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett, a former Team USA member, had a piece of advice for James: rest.
``The body can only take so much,'' Garnett said Tuesday. ``It's hard to make other people understand that. But sometimes, you have to do what's best for yourself for you to be productive. It's easy to sit in the back and critique what others do, but it's one of the hardest things to do in our league.''
James has a lot invested in the 2008 Olympics. Not only do some of his endorsement deals carry large bonuses for his participation, but he's building a complex marketing campaign in China around it. Which means not playing might carry some risk to his status on the national team roster.
Still, Garnett thinks he knows how it will go down.
``Let me tell you what's going to happen. LB is going to step up and not going to let the pressure dictate what he's doing,'' Garnett said. ``I think USA Basketball is trying to throw it on him. He's human. Otherwise, he's going to break down, and no one wants to see that. At one point, he'll step up and speak up, and that's all right to do that. Your body is telling you. You have to listen to your body. If he's going to be effective in the playoffs, he'll have to do that.''