LeBron James among 44 US Olympic team finalists

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James. (Photo/USA Today)
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Updated 10 February 2020

LeBron James among 44 US Olympic team finalists

  • James — a two-time gold medalist and three-time Olympian — is among 44 players announced by USA Basketball on Monda

LOS ANGELES: LeBron James is considering a return to the Olympics.

James — a two-time gold medalist and three-time Olympian — is among 44 players announced by USA Basketball on Monday as finalists for the team that will play in the Tokyo Games this summer. James played in 2004, 2008 and 2012, helping the US win gold in his most recent two appearances.

The pool includes 19 players who have won a total of 31 gold medals in either Olympic or World Cup competition for the Americans — including nine players who captured the Olympic title for USA Basketball in Rio de Janeiro four years ago.

“I’ve always maintained that equity is important,” USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said. “And you earn equity by participating. So, we think they’ve earned the right to be named to the overall roster for USA Basketball. It’s pretty elite. It’s a tremendous pot and the good news is they’ve all said they want to play.”

James has played in 68 games for the US national team and has said several times over the past year or so that he is thinking about another Olympics — after sitting out the Rio Games for a variety of reasons. Part of the interest in participating this summer is to have the chance to play for US coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs.

“It’s a possibility,” James said in December.

There will be no tryouts. USA Basketball will pare the list down to a 12-person Olympic team by early June, those decisions to be made by a selection committee — and to be based in part on player availability and health. Training camp will start in early July, potentially as little as two weeks after the end of the NBA Finals. The Olympics start July 24.

USA Basketball officials, including Colangelo and Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, have met with players in a variety of ways over the past several weeks. 

Some talks have been directly with players, some with their agents, some with their NBA clubs, sometimes a combination thereof — and, Colangelo noted, there were some instances where players reached out directly to express interest.

If they’re on the list, that means USA Basketball is convinced they want to play.


Uncapped Robinson in England squad for second Pakistan Test

Updated 12 August 2020

Uncapped Robinson in England squad for second Pakistan Test

  • Robinson has been one of the most impressive bowlers in English domestic cricket in recent years
  • Star all-rounder Ben Stokes will also miss the third Test

SOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom: Uncapped Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson was included on Wednesday in England’s 14-man squad for the second Test against Pakistan.
The 26-year-old trained with the squad during the West Indies series and took eight Hampshire wickets during his subsequent appearance in the Bob Willis Trophy — the first-class competition that is replacing the County Championship in a season cut short by the coronavirus.
But whether he makes a Test debut at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl ground on Thursday could depend on how the England attack that played in a three-wicket win in the first of a three-match series recovers from their exertions at Old Trafford last week.
Star all-rounder Ben Stokes has already been ruled out after playing in Manchester as he gets ready to return to New Zealand for family reasons.
Stokes will also miss the third Test and former England captain Michael Vaughan said his absence “will have a big effect on the England team’s psychology.”
Vaughan also told William Hill: “He (Stokes) plays a big, big role in that dressing room.
“Even though he’s not had a massive impact in terms of the ball or the bat in the last couple of games, he has a big impact with his persona in that dressing room.”
Vaughan, however, added: “Even though Ben Stokes is out I think England will be too strong.”
Robinson has been one of the most impressive bowlers in English domestic cricket in recent years, taking 137 wickets in total across the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
He also performed well in Australia during the second-string England Lions tour in the northern hemisphere winter and took two wickets in the intra-squad match between Team Stokes and Team (Jos) Buttler in Southampton at the start of last month.
Both Chris Woakes, the man of the match last week, and Stuart Broad are in fine form.
But the pair have played in three Tests in under four weeks, England will want to assess their fitness as well as that of fellow paceman Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Sam Curran before deciding on their final XI

ENGLAND SQUAD
Joe Root (Yorkshire, capt), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Dom Bess (Somerset), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire, wkt), Zak Crawley (Kent), Sam Curran (Surrey), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham)