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LeBron Taking A Break From USA Basketball, Could Be Permanent

LeBron James says he won't play for the US in the 2014 World Championships and is unlikely to play in the 2016 Olympics.

That will hurt - James was Mr. Fixit for the team. If rebounding was needed, he got boards. When points were needed, no one could stop him. But he's given as much as anyone ever has to USA Basketball and deserves immense praise.

The good news is that there's plenty in the pipeline. Kyrie Irving is developing into a brilliant point guard. Kevin Durant is a tremendous talent. Marcus Smart is on the way. Stephen Curry has gone from being a freak shooter to being nearly as good as a ballhandler.

With or without James, the U.S. has a coherent system with tons of young talent, and that's never happened for an extended period of time.