LeBron James: Lakers had ‘my best interest’ in mind with shutdown
The Los Angeles Lakers have opted to shut down LeBron James as the team plays out the string of a surprisingly disappointing lost season, but the superstar acknowledged it’s probably for the best.
The Lakers announced the decision to shut down James for the season’s remaining six games, citing the move was made to allow his injured left groin to fully heal.
Embattled Lakers head coach Luke Walton indicated Sunday that James “wants to play,” but playing in meaningless games was “just not worth it anymore.” Further, Walton added James had to be convinced to shut it down, despite the star’s previously stated reluctance to do so.
According to The Athletic’s Joe Vardon, James pointed out over the weekend how the Lakers were only doing the sensible thing.
“They’re looking out for my best interest, and that’s the way it is,” James said. “… Of course I would love to still play, but I’ve always listened to the ones I trust, no matter if I always agreed with them or not.”
The Lakers are expected to undergo significant changes in the coming offseason, including a likely coaching change and roster makeover. Interestingly — and perhaps troublingly as well — James colorfully expressed dissatisfaction with how the roster is currently constructed just last week.
James appears poised and eager to get going on his famously rigorous offseason regimen, and the disastrous first season of the Lakers era of his career will be the only motivation the superstar needs.
“I like being uncomfortable in the offseason,” James said. “I like being counted out. It motivates me.”