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 this morning as finalists for the team that will play in the Tokyo Games.
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.
The nine players still in the mix from the 2016 Olympic team: Sacramento’s Harrison Barnes, Miami’s Jimmy Butler, San Antonio’s DeMar DeRozan, Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Paul George, Golden State’s Draymond Green, Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Golden State’s Klay Thompson.
Back from the 2012 Olympic champion roster: the Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis, Durant, Houston’s James Harden, the Lakers’ James, Cleveland’s Kevin Love, Oklahoma City’s Chris Paul and Houston’s Russell Westbrook. Back from the 2008 gold-medal squad: the Lakers' Dwight Howard.
And those with World Cup or world championship gold medals for USA Basketball, but no Olympic gold to this point: Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Cleveland’s Andre Drummond and Denver’s Mason Plumlee.
James and Paul won Olympic gold at Beijing in 2008, and James was part of the team that won bronze at Athens in 2004. If James joins this team, he will become the second four-time men’s basketball Olympian for the US — joining Carmelo Anthony.
The Olympics could be a return to the court for players like Durant and Thompson, who have missed the entirety of this NBA season with injuries.
Durant’s recovery from Achilles’ surgery is at the point where he’s doing some on-court work and Thompson has said he would like to play if his surgically repaired knee is up to the challenge.
The 25 other players who are finalists for this summer’s team but do not yet have Olympic or World Cup gold for the U.S.: Miami’s Bam Adebayo, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge, Washington’s Bradley Beal, Phoenix’s Devin Booker, Indiana’s Malcolm Brogdon, Boston’s Jaylen Brown, Utah’s Mike Conley, the Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell, Brooklyn’s Joe Harris, Philadelphia’s Tobias Harris, Boston’s Gordon Hayward, New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram, the Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez, the Lakers’ JaVale McGee, Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, Boston’s Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum, Indiana’s Myles Turner, Boston’s Kemba Walker and San Antonio’s Derrick White.
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