LeBron James reacts to concerns expressed by Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson
LeBron James held court with the media following Tuesday’s off-day practice, and the superstar spoke at length about how both Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson have recently expressed concern about the Los Angeles Lakers perhaps asking him to do too much.
“I don’t know what asking me to do too much is, to be honest. I just play my game. I understand the logic behind it. I understand what Magic and Kobe are saying, because we want to continue to grow the young guys,” James said, via NBA.com. “We want to see how much our young guys can grow to be the best they can be.
“I mean, Magic and Kobe know who I am. I know who I am. They know what they’re going to get outta me. You know what you’re going to get out of me, every game. Am I going to play well every game, am I going to shoot the ball well? No, but you know who I am, and when it’s really, really, really money time, you know who’s going to be there.”
James currently is averaging 34.7 minutes per game, well below his career average of 38.7. After stumbling out of the gate, the Lakers are beginning to hit their stride. In the midst of a thee-game winning streak, the Lakers (14-9) have won seven of 10 games and currently occupy the fifth seed in the loaded Western Conference.
While James conceded that the Lakers have no choice but to develop the team’s younger players through playing time for the long-term future of the organization — which presumably would continue to limit his time on the court — he made it clear that he would log big minutes should the need arise.
“I want to play 48 minutes a game,” James said. “Seriously. But that’s not going to happen. It’s not smart on anybody’s behalf. But that’s just the competitive side of me.”
The Lakers presumably will ask for more out of James if the team begins to struggle. With the way things are going of late, though, there’s no need to ask it of the veteran at this point.