- Joined Jan 29, 2005
[h1]LeBron James says he doesn't "respect" Jerry Colangelo's threats for 2012 Olympics[/h1][h4]By Brian Windhorst, The Plain Dealer[/h4][h5]April 04, 2010, 12:38PM[/h5]
BOSTON -- Two years ago LeBron James and some of his closest friends helped Jerry Colangelo and USA Basketball restore national pride by winning the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.
But those memories seem to be fading as James and Colangelo are now involved in a developing war of words over this summer's FIBA World Championships in Turkey.
Earlier this week, James said he would likely skip playing for Team USA this summer because of other commitments. That includes his free agency but also a movie he's planning on filming over the summer. There have been reports that Dwyane Wade also may skip playing in Turkey.
Colangelo then told Yahoo! Sports: "There are no free passes to London (for 2012 Olympics). There are no special rules for anyone. If someone decides to pass without a legit issue, they do it with an understanding of the risk."
Like in 2006 when he took over running USA Basketball, Colangelo wants a three-summer commitment from players who want to play in the Olympics. James, who has played for Team USA in four of the last six summer, bristled at the statement Sunday before the Cavs took on the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
"There's a lot that goes on with being a professional athlete other than just basketball," James said. "I think everyone in the USA knows what type of commitment these guys have made, including myself, since 2003. I'm not trying to bash Jerry or anything like that because he's a good guy and I respect him. I don't respect that because of the commitment we've all given to the USA."
James has said he hopes to play in London in 2012 to defend the gold medal. But he doesn't sound like he intends to back down on this summer's issue despite Colangelo's statements.
"If that is the case, we'll have to see when it happens," James said. "If we're jeopardizing being in London, what can we do?"
This could be interesting...