It wouldn’t be the start of a new season without some conversation about LeBron James and the number of minutes he should play to preserve his body for the postseason. While most years, LeBron’s minutes don’t drop very much, the shortest offseason in league history, and him entering his 18th season, the question has more relevance now. It’s more curious now, too, when you see that James has played just around 30 minutes in each of the first two games, playing only 31 minutes in Friday’s Christmas Day win against the Dallas Mavericks.
In his postgame interview with the media, James told reporters that he’s ready to play because he trains his body to always be ready, but also said he’d be open to playing fewer minutes if Frank Vogel asks him to.
LeBron asked about his minutes:
“I train my body for whatever. I’m not your typical guy in his 18th season … I train my body for a marathon … they say if you stay ready, you never have to get ready.”
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) December 26, 2020
LeBron James on minutes: “If coach wants to limit my minutes, I’m willing do whatever coach needs to me do.”
— 👑📍Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, M.A. (@ScoopB) December 26, 2020
The Lakers do look like a team that is much more built to succeed when James isn’t on the floor. LeBron, again, rested for the final seven minutes of the game and watched the Lakers take their lead from 10 to 23 on Christmas Day. Unlike opening night, James didn’t turn his ankle before getting subbed out.
Perhaps, LeBron watching the Lakers’ younger players put games away in the regular season will become part of L.A.’s new normal this season.
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