The NBA‘s current finals MVP said “I could use the rest,” James told the Cleveland press, which first reported James’s decision.James, 31, helped the Cleveland Cavaliers defeat the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the N.B.A. finals to notch their first title. He informed U.S.A. Basketball of his decision the day after joining his teammates for a celebratory parade in Cleveland.
It was a sixth consecutive trip to the finals — which extend two months beyond the end of the regular season — for James, who had played in the previous three Olympics. James was named the Most Valuable Player of the finals and led all players in points (29.7), rebounds (11.3), assists (8.9), blocks (2.3) and steals (2.6) per game.
James won a gold medal with the American team at the 2012 London Olympics a month after winning his first N.B.A. title with the Miami Heat. But he is now four years older and has considerably more mileage on his legs.