NBA responds to LeBron James’ complaints about compacted offseason
LeBron James came out firing Wednesday on social media over the glut of injuries occurring in the NBA playoffs.
The Los Angeles Lakers star argued in a series of tweets that the primary factor in so many players succumbing to injury in the postseason — including the news Wednesday that Los Angeles Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard may have suffered an ACL injury — is the historically compacted offseason between the conclusion of play in the NBA bubble and the tip-off of the 2020-21 campaign.
works all year round it’s ME! I speak for the health of all our players and I hate to see this many injuries this time of the year. Sorry fans wish you guys were seeing all your fav guys right now. 🙏🏾👑— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 16, 2021
Once James’ inflammatory social media rhetoric began making waves across the NBA world, the league quickly issued a statement via spokesperson Mike Bass, which was shared by Marc Stein of The New York Times on Twitter.
While the Lakers reaching the NBA Finals in the bubble resulted in the team having a far shorter offseason than others, their experience illustrates just how quick of a turnaround teams participating in the postseason last year faced.
The Lakers concluded the 2019-20 season by securing the title with a Game 6 win over the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals on Oct. 11 in the Orlando, Fla., bubble. That means the team had only 71 days of offseason recovery/preparation time before ramping things up for another grueling season.
There was no shortage of consternation expressed by players and team officials concerning the compressed offseason, including from James’ teammate Anthony Davis.
James was not a fan of the Dec. 22 start date for the 2020-21 campaign, and his thoughts on the topic were made abundantly clear shortly after the league’s announcement.
Star players have been dropping like flies in the NBA playoffs. Leonard, Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Joel Embiid, Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Jamal Murray, Jaylen Brown and Mike Conley have all missed some amount of time this postseason.
James clearly believes the compacted offseason which didn’t allow players enough time to rest, recover and recuperate following the unprecedented bubble experience is playing a role in so many stars going down in the postseason. Whether that is indeed accurate or not, the NBA unsurprisingly opted to argue against such an unflattering and arguably damning narrative for the league.