LeBron James and his refusal to attend the World Cup in China with the United States

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The stellar forward prefers to dedicate himself to the recording of the movie Space Jam and have a long vacation after the early elimination of the LA Lakers

LeBron James and his refusal to attend the World Cup in China with the United States

From the sporting point of view, LeBron James will not be so badly missed in the national basketball team of the United States, which seeks to repeat the title in the World Cup in China. It is obvious that, while the NBA attend the events organized by FIBA, it will be very difficult for the rest to beat them. Perhaps it will happen some day, but it will hardly be today, especially with Spain —which has been its main opponent in recent years— in the process of renewal.

Leer en español: LeBron James y su negativa de asistir al Mundial de China con Estados Unidos

Therefore, the presence of James will not be so missed from the sporting view, but definitely from what he represents as a figure of sport. Because of his age, which transmits the leadership of a 34-year veteran, and other skills, he is still considered by many to be the best player of these times. Already at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016, James did not attend the event, which would have been his fourth consecutive Olympics, after attending in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

Read also: A Greek is the favorite to keep the NBA MVP award 2018-19

Space Jam?

It is true that it is said that the main reason for 'The King' to leave China is his contract to record Space Jam 2. This is a new facet in which James begins to point to the future and in which, by the way, he has not received much support from his colleagues in the NBA.

That can certainly be a reason. However, some statements during this tortuous campaign with the Lakers, in which several of those same colleagues said they were not interested in playing with him, may be a sign of the withdrawal from this great player of the national team.

Space Jam 2 is a film production that can serve LeBron as an escape route to a season of failure in the results, with many physical problems (more than half of the campaign with a groin injury), and a generalized feeling of adversity against him.

Doing something different, away from the pressure of the result and perhaps the bad environment generated against him, can help him have fun, relax and, above all, focus on what will undoubtedly be his sporting goal: prepare in the best possible way the next NBA campaign with a renewed Angeles Lakers, with some caliber figure that will surely accompany him, and possibly with a new manager.

Are the Olympic Games more attractive?

For now, LeBron said he does expect to attend the Olympic Games in Tokyo, but that's still a long way off. We believe, in addition, that it will depend on how he performs in a season that will surely be taken as a rematch with the Lakers after the failure of 2018-19 and even depend on his physical capacity. Let's not forget that in 2020 he will turn 35, an age that usually marks the beginning of the decline of great athletes in team sports that demand speed and a lot of contact.

There is a theory that is handled in high level basketball: in this sport, its protagonists feel more identified with the Olympic Games, which for many is the real World Cup, and not with the actual World Cup, an event that transcends little in the international media. Even more so this time, because they postponed it for a year to avoid coinciding with the soccer World Cup, with which they seek precisely more promotion and attention. It is possible that James adheres to this theory and, therefore, prefers to 'rest'.


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The World Cup and the Olympic Games? They do not really seem to be his priorities at this final stage of his career, because after winning three NBA championships, two with the Miami Heat, and another with the Cleveland Cavaliers, James stayed out of the postseason for the first time in 14 years and in his first season with the Lakers. This team, which also preferred to reserve him and make him rest the last 10 days of the championship, had surely made James think better to definitely 'get off' the World Cup in China.

The reasons may be many, but for us it is that the Basketball World Cup does not encourage enough the star forward and that he prefers to move away from the NBA environment for a while to return in October with all his fury.


LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano

Translated from "LeBron James y su negativa de asistir al Mundial de China con Estados Unidos"