Colangelo comments upset James

BOSTON – Considering what LeBron James(notes) has already done to help deliver an Olympic gold medal to the United States, he doesn’t understand how skipping this summer’s World Championships could keep him from playing in the 2012 London Games.

LeBron James celebrates in the gold medal game against Spain in Beijing, China in 2008.
(Phil Walter/Getty Images)

James said Wednesday that he’s “probably not” playing for Team USA this summer because of his impending free agency and a busy schedule. Dwyane Wade(notes) also is leaning toward not playing. USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo responded by telling Yahoo! Sports there will be no “free passes” to the 2012 London Olympics. Any player who skips prior USA Basketball commitments “without a legit issue, they do it with an understanding of the risk,” Colangelo said.

Those words didn’t sit well with James, who has played in two Olympics, a World Championships and a FIBA Americas Championships for the United States.

“Everyone in the United States of America understands the commitment these guys have made, including myself, since 2003,” James said Sunday. “I’m not trying to bash Jerry because he’s a good guy and I really respect him. But if he came out and said that, I don’t respect that because of the commitment we’ve given to the United States with a three-year commitment off the bat. We didn’t second-guess it at all. So if we are jeopardizing the opportunity to be on the team in London, I mean, what can we do? What can we do?”

Marc Spears is an NBA writer for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter.
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Updated Sunday, Apr 4, 2010