Team USA will miss one player in its lineup for the upcoming FIBA World Cup in China. Enigmatic Los Angeles Lakers' star LeBron James (LBJ), has confirmed that he will not be playing for the US this coming August. Although the team will be coached by Greg Popovich, LeBron said that this summer is different from the previous ones.

It is an early offseason for LBJ as the Lakers did not advance to the playoffs after they lost to the Brooklyn Nets on March 15.

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It will be the first time since 2005 that James will not be playing in the playoffs, according to the Lebron Wire website. His own season ended with a groin injury which he sustained in a Christmas Day game against the Warriors.

James has not played for Team USA since the 2012 London Olympics. However, he is not ruling out the possibility that he will play for the US in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, according to CBS Sports.

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While we will not see him play for the country this summer, LeBron is scheduled to play the game he loves to worldwide audiences via "Space Jam 2."

In the thick of 'Space Jam 2' production

One of the reasons James will not be part of Team USA in the FIBA World Cup is because he will be busy filming "Space Jam 2." Set to be shown in July 2021, ESPN revealed that the filming schedule of the movie was based on the assumption that LBJ will not be playing this summer.

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If the Lakers advanced to the playoffs, filming of the movie would not interfere with his games. Shooting starts in June 2019, giving the production team three months to wrap up filming before the NBA training camps open and LeBron returns to his team.

Aside from confirming that LeBron will be in the lead role, a report from Screen Rant reveals that it will be a franchise reboot and not a sequel to the 1996 animated movie that starred Michael Jordan.

Serving as producer will be Ryan Coogler, who was at the helm of Black Panther. As to the cast, more information will be provided as shooting draws near.

On playing for Team USA in the Olympics

While LeBron will not be part of Team USA in the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China this summer, he is not ruling out the possibility of playing in the Olympics in 2020.

CBS Sports reported that he said, “Yeah, that’s a possibility.

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It depends on how I feel. I love the Olympics.” If he does decide to play in 2020, it will be his fourth appearance in the Olympics. He won two gold medals in 2008 and 2012 and a bronze medal in 2004.

But it remains to be seen whether he would still don the red-white-and-blue in international competitions. At age 35, we may have already seen the last of LeBron James in the Olympics.

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