LeBron James on how many games he plans to play this season: ’82’
Despite the fact he has never accomplished the remarkable feat in any of his previous 12 NBA seasons, LeBron James, when asked how many games he intends to play during the 2015-16 campaign, made it clear he plans to play in each and every one of them.
“82,” the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar replied when confronted with the questioned Friday about his plans, via Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Joe Varndon.
James received an anti-inflammatory injection in his ailing back — his third in 10 months — a little less than three weeks ago. He played 36 and 31 minutes in the Cavs’ first two games, respectively, and admitted he wasn’t in tip-top shape on the Cavaliers’ off day Thursday.
“I didn’t feel that great,” James said Friday from shootaround ahead of the team’s showdown with James’ former team, the Miami Heat. “I was able to come in and get some treatment, get some work in, so I feel pretty good this morning.”
James played in a career-high 81 games during the 2008-09 season — his second-to-last season with the Cavs before he took his talents to South Beach, so it’s not like he’s a fragile player in any sense. But in the seasons that followed, James played the following amount of games in sequential order: 76, 79, 62 (in a lockout-shortened 66-game season), 76, 77 and 69 last season, the least amount of games James has ever played over an 82-game campaign.
Given the demands James places on himself, it’s not surprising he’s set his sights high for this season. But all those deep runs James’ teams have made in the playoffs and into the Finals throughout his career has put a lot of extra miles on his heavily-tread tires. The hope for the Cavaliers should be that the team is able to win its fair share of games as they await the return of Iman Shumpert and Kyrie Irving and James can then sit out some games here and there down the stretch.
The alternative — yet another injection or some other injury resulting in an extended seat on the bench in street clothes — certainly isn’t an attractive option for the Cavaliers.