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Lebron James ended uncertainty about his status with the U.S. national team on Tuesday night by saying he will play in next month’s FIBA America’s Tournament, where the Americans will try to qualify for the 2008 Olympics.
“I’m going to play,” James told The Associated Press. “I’ve had enough time off, and knowing my body more than anybody, I’m ready to play. I don’t know how much I’m going to play or how extensively, but I’ll be ready.”
James was uncertain about playing for Team USA this summer. His girlfriend Savannah just had their second son and with the Cavaliers making it to the NBA Finals, James may have wanted some extra time off after playing more than 100 games since last October.
“It was a long and tough year,” James said. “But for me, if I make a commitment, I want to keep it. I’m a loyal guy. I committed to three years and I’m going to hold up my end of the bargain.”
The U.S. team will have a three-day minicamp from July 20-22 in Las Vegas. Three weeks later, the Americans will resume practice in preparation for the 10-team tournament that begins on Aug. 22.
Two teams from that tournament will qualify for the Beijing Games.
So far, USA Basketball has commitments from Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, Carlos Boozer, Chauncey Billups, Deron Williams, Mike Miller, Tayshaun Prince, Tyson Chandler, Amare Stoudemire, Michael Redd, Greg Oden and Kevin Durant.
Miami’s Dwyane Wade will not play in the summer tournaments following shoulder surgery, but the Heat star told Krzyzewski on Monday that he will report to the mini-camp and wants to help out during practices in August.
“Dwyane called me and said, ‘Coach I’m one of the captains, and it means a lot,'” Krzyzewski said. “That’s a heck of a thing.”
Source: Associated Press