TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
LeBron James misses the Olympic stage.
The Cleveland superstar, who decided to skip his fourth Olympics after leading the Cavaliers to an NBA title in June, said in an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he’s keeping an eye on his teammates at the Rio Games.
“Every time I watch ’em I wish I was out there,” James said in the interview, which will air Thursday. “I did not retire from Team USA. I just did not play this summer. So I still left the door open.”
James joined USA Basketball for the 2004 games in Athens, where the Americans lost their opener to Puerto Rico, dropped two more games and settled for bronze. He returned on the 2008 Redeem Team and won gold in Beijing and then captured another title four years ago in London.
After leading the Cavs to an historic comeback against Golden State, James said he needed rest and would not play in Brazil. If he decides to return to the national team, he would be 35 at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
James, who signed a three-year, $100 million deal with the Cavs last week, also said in another online interview that he would be interested in NBA ownership when his playing days are over.
“I feel like my brain, as far as the game of basketball, is unique,” James said on “Open Run,” a new podcast which is part of the “Uninterrupted” media platform he co-founded. “I would love to continue to give my knowledge to the game. I would love to be a part of a franchise — if not at the top. My dream is to actually own a team. If I’m fortunate enough to own a team, then I’m going to hire the best GM and president that I can. But I feel like I got a good eye for not only talent, because we all see a lot of talent, but the things that make the talent.”
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