LOS ANGELES -- LeBron James could be excused for his poor shooting from behind the arc, and for being blown out in a game of H-O-R-S-E with a warehouse worker in a beach exhibition. James was still floating in the clouds from his Olympic experience.
"I still haven't [come down]. It's an unbelievable experience to go out there and represent your country the way we were able to do it, showcasing our talent to the world, playing the game that we love to play," James said Wednesday. "It was really fun that we were able to bring home our game, that's the game of basketball.
"I guaranteed the gold medal would be back in the United States of America. You hate the fact that it's over. You're never going to have that team again, as powerful as we were, we're never going to have that team again."
He has special plans for his gold medal.
"It's being framed as we speak. I sent it away to be framed and cased up so I could set it in my office and not so many people can touch it now. It got enough fingerprints on it from the time I brought it home," he said with a chuckle.
James was on an outdoor court at Venice Beach to take on David Kalb in a shooting game, mostly of trick shots, although James' outside shooting touch was way off. At one point, he grinned and said, "That wind."
Kalb won the matchup with James in an online contest, "LeBron's Trick Shot Challenge sponsored by Cub Cadet."
Kalb's bag of trick shots including one where he bounced the ball very high in the lane, raced around the goal post, caught the ball as it came down, and tossed it in the basket. James missed his try, and after losing the first game, declared best two-of-three. Each made, among other shots, left-handed free throws, but Kalb went on to win the second game as well.
After he missed his final shot, James tossed the ball away in mock anger.
Asked if the matchup against Kalb was tougher than winning a gold medal, James said it was, because he was by himself and didn't have his Olympic teammates.
He seemed to have taken on the mantle of leader of the U.S. team that included a roster of other superstars, including Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Jason Kidd. James said that experience will help him with his Cleveland teammates.
"Leadership, being able to go out and lead some of the best in the world makes it a lot easier to lead some of the guys on my team," James said. "When you can tell Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh some things that they're doing wrong, or right, it's a lot easier to go home to your respective team and tell those guys what they're doing wrong or right."
James played sparingly on the U.S. team that settled for an Olympic bronze in 2004. He's not absolutely certain about playing in three Olympics.
"I'm still living on what happened this past month, haven't thought about 2012 in London. But I think it's going to be unbelievable. I'm definitely open to being a part of the Olympic team in 2012," he said. "Hopefully the next group of guys, and if it's including myself, will be good."