LeBron James ‘not sitting games’ as Lakers slip out of playoff contention
The Los Angeles Lakers suffered yet another demoralizing loss Monday night, and the fact the team is quickly falling out of playoff contention has given rise to the argument that LeBron James should be shut down for the rest of the season.
As far as the Lakers superstar is concerned, though, that’s not going to happen, barring unforeseen circumstances.
“That would take a lot of convincing from Luke [Walton] on up,” James told ESPN, referring to the Lakers coach as well as, most likely, everyone from general manager Rob Pelinka, to president Magic Johnson, to governor Jeanie Buss. “Unless I’m hurt, I’m not sitting games.”
The Lakers’ 113-105 setback to the in-town rival Clippers Monday night was the team’s third straight loss. The team (30-34) has dropped seven of 10 games, leaving the Lakers tenth in the Western Conference and 5.5 games behind the eighth-seeded San Antonio Spurs.
The Lakers are now 2-5 since James announced he was activating “playoff mode” early, and the superstar acknowledged that playing fewer minutes is a possibility if things continue to fall apart.
“You kind of look at the rest of the games, and look at the percentages of what’s going on there in the future, and see what makes more sense for not only me but the team itself as well,” James said.
That said, James noted such a conversation about a potential minutes reduction has not yet occurred.
“That conversation hasn’t occurred, but I’m sure it can happen soon,” James said.
James missed 18 games earlier in the season with a groin injury, and there were rumors the Lakers believed he was not fully healthy upon his return.
The first season of the LeBron Era in L.A. is in full downward-spiral mode, and it has left some very vocal fans disgusted and dejected. There is virtually no chance the Lakers will reach the postseason, meaning James’ first season out West has been nothing short of a colossal disappointment.