LOS ANGELES – After a renaissance start to the season for the Los Angeles Lakers as a successful franchise and for LeBron James as the dominant player, James does not plan on missing games as charge management waits for a postseason
"When I get hurt "If not, I play," James said to ESPN as he knocked on the wooden façade of his locker after the Lakers had won 95-80 Miami Heat on Friday night. "That has always been my motto."
Load management is a hot topic in the NBA after James Staples Center roommate Kawhi Leonard of the LA Clippers aired a nationwide television game for the second year in a row on Wednesday.
James, six years older than Leonard and suffering the first serious injury of his 17-year career last season, continues to strive to improve as much as possible.
Both games, which Leonard had to suspend, were part of the game in a situation in which Leonard plays the other leg.
James did not want to comment on how his plan differed from Leonard's, which the League turned out to be a legitimate reason for suspending while continuing the game with a continual injury to the patellar tendon in his left knee.
"LeBron is healthy, LeBron will play, that's all I'm going to talk about," James said. "I'm only talking about myself."
James had 25 points in 10-of-19 shooting, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range, with six assists and four rebounds on Friday's win.
The Lakers, who started largely 1-7 thanks to James' influence, will face each other for the first time next week.
"Is there a Tuesday-Wednesday change? Phoenix, [then] at home against Golden State? I'm ready to go," said James. "What do you mean by & # 39; how do I deal with it?"
The Lakers coaching and training team had internal discussions on how to find time to rest, the sources told ESPN. But James, who turns 35 next month, is reluctant to accept that.
"Talk to my coaches," James said. "You know how many times I and T-Lue (Tyronn Lue) got into Cleveland when he wanted to sit and I wanted to play.
" I'm healthy, I play. I probably have a good 45 years to not play basketball. "
Lakers coach Frank Vogel, who accepted the job following the collapse of negotiations with Lue this summer, said the team was planning to protect James from overwork," as much as possible. "
" Whether it's days off-duty or minimizing his minutes in practice, he minimizes his stress, "Vogel said after Thursday's training," Every way we can. "
James started on average at 26 on Friday , 1 points, 11.1 assists and 8.3 rebounds in the league. On the Lakers' 3-0 road trip, he had three triple doubles in a row to win the longest triple. Double strand of his career.
In addition, his defensive efforts have helped the Lakers reach the top of the league in the early stages.
"The guy is unbelievable," Vogel said to James on Friday and the Lakers kept the heat down to just 34 points in the second half. "He gives everything to this team and really to affect both ends of the ground.The biggest impact is probably how he sets a tone.He sets the tone for our group how hard he plays in defense, how ready he is, the willingness to play Obviously, he has the ability to make big hits in the clutch, so the guy is just unbelievable. "
The win on Friday brought James and the rest of his team out of the scheduled training on Saturday – That's a way to shorten time.
And the Victory Offered a Platform for Explain the "washed king" hashtag that James used on social media as he got used to those who doubted his place in the coming season.
"It's just my personal motivation," James said. "I'm particularly motivated to put myself in the position where I know I belong.
" So it's my personal motivation to step on the floor every night to be great. I know the summer I had. I know the rehab I had with my groin.
James referred to his experience of shooting "Space Jam 2" this summer to explain his commitment to the Lakers.
"I've been through the summer & # 39; Space Jam & # 39; shot for three months. My call time was every morning at 6:30 in the morning and I was at the gym at 3:30, 4 in the morning before going for 12, 13, 14 hours, "James said." Well, I just know how much I'm in I've done my job, I know what matters. Even as I was filming, I know what was most important. And that's that I'm preparing for the fall, and I've always had that That's in my mind. So it's just my personal pressure that I exert on myself. That said, I do not really believe in pressure, but I believe in myself and I know what I'm capable of.
James was then asked how much of his motivation came directly from others, using the actual term "washed" to describe him in his mid-thirties.
"Well, I do not know, man," James said, "Meet me at the cleaning ladies."