The huge factor that is tempting LeBron James to play at Tokyo 2020

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LeBron James was the most notable absence from Team USA's Olympic squad as they went in search of a third consecutive gold medal.

The Cleveland Cavaliers star had competed in three straight Olympic competitions, dating back to the failed campaign of 2004, and many believed his decision to stay away was a sign his international career was coming to end.

However, the four-time MVP recently insisted he was just taking a break from US duty following another dramatic finals series - his sixth appearance in a row at the big dance.

By the time Tokyo 2020 comes around, LeBron will be 35, but the possibility of him playing under one of the greatest coaches of all time could convince him to give it one last go.

That coach would be Gregg Popovich, "It would be pretty amazing to be able to actually play for the greatest NBA coach of all time," LeBron told USA Today's Sam Amick.

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - Game 6

The two have crossed paths a number of times in the past and James has often spoken in admiration of the five-time title-winning coach.

Pop was an assistant during Athens 2004 and worked closely with a young James, they have also gone head-to-head on many occasions - most notably back-to-back finals series during LeBron's stint with the Miami Heat - and have been in close proximity at a number of All-Star weekends.

LeBron could maybe one day end up in San Antonio, but his most likely avenue to work with Pop will be on the international stage.

Olympics Day 16 - Basketball

San Antonio Spurs
Southwest Division
Western Conference
LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference

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