LeBron James has made another decision: He wants to be an Olympian again.
The Miami Heat forward said Thursday that he would ”love to be a part” of the 2012 U.S. men’s basketball team at the London Olympics and help defend the gold medal the Americans won in the Beijing Games. And if U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski wants him back, James says he’s just a phone call away.
”Coach K has my number. I have his number,” James said. ”If he needs me, I’m there.”
The U.S. clinched a spot in the 2012 field by winning the world championship this summer, with that team led by Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant – a close pal of James. Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers said earlier this week that he’d also like to play on the 2012 squad.
”You guys want me there, I am there and I’m ready to defend,” Bryant said Tuesday on Krzyzewski’s SIRIUS XM radio show. ”And then when you guys need me to put some points on the board, I’ll do that, too.”
James’ teammates in Miami would also figure to be in the Olympic consideration mix. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade were also part of the ”Redeem Team” in Beijing, but Wade has said at least twice in the past few days that he has no timetable for making up his mind.
James, Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul also skipped worlds in Istanbul this summer, but Anthony and Paul – also friends of Miami’s two-time reigning NBA MVP – have already said they want to be part of the mix in London.
If he plays in 2012, it would be James’ third Olympics.
”I would love to be a part of that team,” James said. ”I think it’s an unbelievable thing to represent your country. If Coach K needs me to be a part of that team, I’m available. Hopefully I’m healthy enough to be a part of that team. But I’m always up for the Olympics and representing my country.”