“I’ve never talked about needing more rest…I don’t believe in it. I’m here to work and be available to my teammates.” @KingJames answers questions about tonight’s game and if he feels he needs to take a game off for additional rest. #Lakers
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So far, all of those decisions have ended with James stepping on the court to play. He stressed he has not made that decision hastily. “I have nothing but honest people around me. But I’m also honest with myself as well,” James said. “Me having the love for the game and me being able to be available to my teammates is more important than anything.”
Why is that the most important thing? “I’m not pushing myself. I wouldn’t say that. I’m going out there and playing the game. I’m doing my job. I’m trying to do it at a high level,” James said. “But that’s been a narrative around the league. I’ve never asked for time off or time throughout the season. It’s grown to a point where it’s not even coming from me anymore. It’s ‘LeBron should take some time off.’ I’ve been hearing it for five, six, seven years now. I’m still going strong. I don’t need a handout. I’m not looking for a handout. My job is to go out when I’m available when I’m healthy to go out and play.”
Amid a renaissance start to the season for both the Los Angeles Lakers as a successful franchise and LeBron James as a dominant player, James says he has no plans to miss games due to load management in anticipation of a postseason run. “If I’m hurt, I don’t play. If not, I’m playing,” James told ESPN as he knocked on the wooden façade of his locker after the Lakers’ 95-80 win over the Miami Heat on Friday night. “That’s what has always been my motto.”
There has been internal discussion within the Lakers’ coaching and training staff about how to find time to rest James, sources told ESPN. But James, who turns 35 next month, is loath to accept it. “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.”
Mark Medina: LeBron James asked how he’s maintained his longevity a month away from his 35th birthday: “Wine.” The reasoning: “It ages well.”
Ben Golliver: Lakers’ LeBron James on offseason work paying off w/ 7-1 start: “I shot Space Jam for three months all summer and my call times were at 6:30 in the morning. I was in the gym at 3:30, 4 in the morning before shooting 12, 13, 14 hours. I know how much I put into my craft.” pic.twitter.com/PIK9tCXcLz
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June 17, 2021 | 5:28 pm EDT Update
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