The Los Angeles Lakers’ season tips off this evening with a home tilt against Golden State, and if it’s up to him, you can expect to see plenty of LeBron James, even at his advanced age. James, 36 (which is 97 in NBA years), played a career-low 33.4 minutes per game last year, something he hopes to avoid repeating this season.
James seems to have an ally in head coach Frank Vogel, who would rather keep LBJ warm on the floor than cold on the bench.
“In some ways if he stays over there (the sidelines) too long and he gets cold, it’s worse for him to get back in there (the game),” said Vogel. “Especially since he’s been playing this type of rotation for so long.”
Frank Vogel says he wants LeBron James around “34 to 36” minutes per night this season, but he doesn’t want him playing all 82 games. Vogel added that he doesn’t want to prescript James’ nights off or his minutes too much.
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) October 18, 2021
The plan for now, per Vogel, would be to have James play around “34 to 36” minutes per game. And rather than reduce or restrict his minutes, Vogel would prefer to rest LeBron for select games, though nothing has been set in stone: “We’re not going to prescript X amount of nights off.”
After 18 seasons in the league, James and his health are the subject of regular debate, though LeBron says he pays minimal attention to the chatter.
“I don’t play the game thinking about injuries,” said James. “And I also feel worse when I play low minutes.”
Though he played fewer minutes per game than usual last year, James took advantage of the minutes he did play. In 45 regular season games, LBJ averaged 25 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.8 assists.
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