LeBron Tepid On Team USA
He's been studying Mandarin, but may not be heading to Beijing
By Jesse Andrews,  Newser User
Posted Apr 3, 2007 10:23 PM CDT

(Newser) – In Beijing next year, basketball's Team USA may be missing one of the sport's most familiar faces.  For flaky-sounding reasons, LeBron James has let it be known that he is "50-50" for the upcoming Tournament of the Americas, an Olympic qualifier, and Jerry Colangelo, the man putting the team together, is not thrilled. 

Colangelo responded that no-shows would require a "legitimate reason" for their absence if indeed they want to go to Beijing. LeBron, the prodigiously talented and marketable Cavaliers swingman, has career goals of becoming the first billionaire athlete as well as a "global icon."  That includes studying Mandarin, to become even more of a pop icon in China.