LeBron James dismisses ‘narrative’ suggesting he needs more rest
Now in his 18th NBA season, LeBron James continues to log monster minutes for the Los Angeles Lakers while making even more history in the process.
With the Lakers presently left undermanned due to the absences of Anthony Davis and others, James has made it clear he’s up to the challenge of carrying the team through this tough stretch.
In fact, the Lakers star on Monday night pushed back strongly against the “narrative” that he needs more rest and potentially needs to sit out games from time to time to keep him fresh during the long slog of the regular season.
“I think this whole narrative of ‘LeBron needs more rest’ or I should take more rest or I should take time here, it’s become a lot bigger than what it actually is,” James said after Monday’s 127-124 overtime loss to the Washington Wizards, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “I’ve never talked about it, I don’t talk about it, I don’t believe in it. We all need more rest, s—. This is a fast turnaround from last season, and we all wish we could have more rest. But I’m here to work, I’m here to punch my clock in and be available to my teammates.
“And if I’m hurt or if I’m not feeling well, then we can look at it then. But I have nothing but honest people [advising me], but I’m also honest with myself, as well, and me having a love for the game and me being able to be available to my teammates is more important than anything.”
The “narrative” James referred to in his comments Monday night was constructed before the 2020-21 NBA season even tipped off. Despite James unsurprisingly continuing to defy Father Time at 36 years old, it was suggested that the remarkably narrow turnaround between the conclusion of the COVID-19-compromised 2019-20 season to the tipoff of the 2020-21 campaign could especially impact the defending champion Lakers, James in particular.
In fact, the belief in NBA circles was that the Lakers faced a “balancing act” when it came to keeping James fresh and avoiding frustrating a player who abhors taking nights off.
James was no fan of the historically short offseason, understandably, and just last month railed against the narrative that the challenging circumstances could leave him feeling worn down this season.
“I don’t get tired,” said James, who recently explained how he somehow continues to dominate the NBA and keeps putting up MVP-caliber seasons.
With the Lakers mired in a three-game losing streak and James left without wingman Davis, among others, the superstar undoubtedly is facing a huge challenge as the first half of the season comes to a close.