Los Angeles, USA, Jun 4 (EFE).- LeBron James announced late Thursday that he would skip the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this summer, fresh after the reigning champions LA Lakers were dumped out of the first round of the NBA playoffs at the hands of the Phoenix Suns.
With a wry smile, James told reporters after the game that instead of representing the United States at the Summer Olympics, he would play for the TunesSquad, the animated basketball team that is to be revamped this year in Space Jam: A New Legacy, starring James.
“I think I’m going to play for the Tunes squad this summer instead of the Olympics, I think that’s what I’m going to focus on,” he told the press. “Didn’t have much success versus the Suns, so now I’m gearing my attention to the Goon Squad,” he added, referring to the upcoming movie’s antagonists.
“I’m going to let the ankle rest for about a month, then I’m going to gear up with Lola, Taz, Granny, Bugs and the rest of the crew so hopefully see you all at the match.”
He hit a serious note with the ankle, and earlier in the press conference said: “I can get three months, to recalibrate, get my ankle back to 100%. Everything else feels extremely well. My ankle is the only thing that’s bothering me, in the later stages of the season.”
The Suns defeated the defending champions 100-113 to make it 2-4 in the series thanks to Devin Booker’s 47 points and 11 rebounds. Lakers star James scored 29 points but it wasn’t enough.
Afterwards, he congratulated the Suns on their performance and urged Booker, 24, to continue to improve on and off the court.
Without detracting from the Suns’ victory, James, who turns 37 this year, said the Lakers were unable to live up to their full potential this year because of injuries.
“We could never fully get into a rhythm and never see the full potential of what we were capable of. We obviously fell short of our goal but we tried to do everything.”
He said Anthony Davis’s full return from injury next year would be crucial. Davis was only able to play five minutes against Phoenix.