When it comes to load management, not everyone is a fan of it. Lately, it’s been the hottest conversation in the NBA. Know one of the best in the league shares his opinion on the topic.
Lakers superstar LeBron James said following a 95-80 victory over the Miami Heat on Friday night that he will not be missing any time this season as the result of load management.
“If I’m hurt, I don’t play. If not, I’m playing,” James told ESPN. “That’s what has always been my motto.
“Talk to my coaches. You know how many times me and [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.”
James’ motto mimics that of legendary Hall of Famer, Michael Jordan, who operated under the belief that owners are paying you to play, so you play unless you physically can’t.
However, “load management” has become a popular topic in the NBA and a regular practice. Superstars frequently find themselves getting days and games off in order to reduce wear and tear on their bodies, which has become frustrating for fans and advertisers alike.
But James is having none of that this year.
“LeBron’s healthy, LeBron’ll play. That’s all I’ll talk about,” James said. “I don’t talk about nobody else but me.
“There’s a back-to-back Tuesday-Wednesday? Phoenix, [then] back home against Golden State? I’ll be ready to go. What do you mean, ‘How am I going to handle it?’”
The Lakers are off to a 7-1 start to the season and much of that has to do with the play of James, who is proving that the rumors of his slow demise were drastically overstated. Early on, he’s averaging 26.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 10.5 assists in 35.1 minutes.