Why Are Steph Curry & LeBron James Not Playing in The Olympics?

Published 07/04/2021, 11:31 PM EDT
Jan 18, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) defends Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the second quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy: Reuters


Once upon a time, getting picked to play for Team USA and taking part in the Olympics was an honor no NBA player refused. Being a part of this roster meant that the player was one of the best in the league. However, it seems like that perception might have changed, or is it the circumstance that has? Because why would Stephen Curry and LeBron James not play in the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

LeBron James and Steph Curry opted out?

Unless you’re living in a bubble, everyone knows how this season in the NBA has gone by. There is hardly any team who was immune to the injury plague that hit hard after a tiresome season in the Orlando Bubble. Not getting as much rest as needed after one season and before another has had its major consequences.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In fact, Lakers‘ LeBron James was one of those who completely opposed the 2020-21 NBA schedule. But the NBA had to make it stick because of the Tokyo Olympics. And both Bron and Steph have decided to stay out of it instead.

LeBron and his teammate, Anthony Davis, struggled with injuries throughout. It’s what cost them a better run for a second straight time. With AD also picked in the 12-man roster, the dynamic duo wants to focus on keeping themselves healthy instead of exerting more.

Steph Curry, who previously showed plenty of interest to play, also decided to sit out. The 33-year-old Warriors superstar might want to focus on getting his team back and healthy for next season as well.

DIVE DEEPER

Luka Doncic Says Winning Olympics Gold Medal is Bigger Goal Than NBA Championships

21 days ago

Who is leading the 12-man roster?

So what if LeBron James and Steph Curry aren’t there? The NBA is filled with other brilliant players who chose to play in a heartbeat. And the man that is going to lead them will be Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The NBA Finals are expected to come to an end on July 22, a day before the Olympics in Tokyo commences on July 23. However, three NBA players that are part of this roster are playing in the NBA Finals too.

Jun 20, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker reacts against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first half during game one of the Western Conference Finals for the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

They are Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker, and Milwaukee Bucks’ Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton. How they are going to manage this back-to-back war is one to think about. Aren’t they going to be living Steph and LeBron’s worst nightmare?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY: Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard Headline the USA Tokyo Olympics Men’s Basketball Roster

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Yashima Bhatia

1310 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT