US men’s basketball coach Gregg Popovich shouldn’t count on LeBron James and Anthony Davis for this summer’s Olympic team, according to a report Monday that the Lakers stars will miss the Tokyo Games.
Citing a source close to both players, The Athletic reported that James and Davis made their decisions due to their injury-plagued seasons.
James played just 45 of 72 games this season due to ankle problems. Davis appeared in just 36 games due to a variety of injuries, including a calf strain and Achilles tendinosis. In the playoffs, he was hampered by a groin strain and a hyperextended knee.
With both players injured for a span, the Lakers fell from the top echelon of Western Conference teams and had to win an inning game to reach the playoffs.
The Lakers, who had a short offseason after winning the NBA title in the “bubble” near Orlando last summer, were defeated in the first round in six games by the Phoenix Suns last week.
Davis played about 20 minutes before getting injured in Game 4, missed Game 5, then played just five minutes in Game 6. In his three complete games against the Suns, he averaged 27 points, 9.3 rebounds and three assists. He averaged 21.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists in the regular season.
James played all six games against the Suns and averaged 23.3 points, eight assists and 7.2 rebounds in just over 37 minutes per game. In the regular season he averaged 25 points, 7.8 assists and 7.7 rebounds.
Athletic also reported that Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is “50-50” regarding joining the United States team for the Olympics, while Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has “a great interest in playing.”
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