With LeBron James turning 35 in late December and coming off his first major injury last season, there was plenty of speculation during the offseason that he would sit out some games this year as a precaution.
James quickly dismissed the idea.
“If I’m hurt, I don’t play. If not, I’m playing,” said James to ESPN. “That’s what has always been my motto.”
The Akron, Ohio native then talked about how he would coordinate with the plans of the Lakers’ coaching staff to possibly sit him out of a handful of games.
“Talk to my coaches,” James said. “You know how many times me and T-Lue [Tyronn Lue] got into it in Cleveland when he wanted to sit me and I wanted to play.
“I’m healthy, I play. I probably got a good 45 years to not play basketball.”
To be accurate, James actually has a bit of a history of sitting out games when he wasn’t hurt while with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In the 2016-17 season, his penultimate one in Northeast Ohio, he sat out eight games despite not having a legitimate injury.
James turned 32 that season, and there was increasing chatter about the workload he was carrying for the Cavs and the impact it was having on his aging body.
For the last few years, load management has been an issue that’s been simmering across the league.
But this season, it has become a somewhat pervasive issue, one that commissioner Adam Silver is looking to address.