LeBron James has spent a lot of time on the court this season. Through 32 games, he’s played 1,120 minutes, which is the third-most minutes in the NBA. Only Fred VanVleet (1,135) and Julius Randle (1,1140) have played more than James this season, and they’re both 10 years younger than him.
James’ minutes have been a source of concern among Lakers fans, especially since he only had two months to recover from his year-long run for the 2019-20 championship. It’s gotten to the point where a portion of fans are calling for James to sit through the All-Star break at the expense of their regular season record.
While that might not be the worst idea given the current state of the team, James doesn’t feel like he needs rest and he doesn’t why seemingly everyone thinks he should.
“I mean, I’m resting now,” James said after the Lakers’ loss to the Washington Wizards on Monday. “I’m sitting here, talking to you guys. I’ll rest when I get into my car and head home, I’ll rest when I get home, I’ll rest tomorrow. This whole narrative of ‘LeBron needs more rest’ or that I should take time here has become a lot bigger than what it actually, really is. I’ve never talked about it, I don’t talk about it, I don’t believe in it.”
James has admitted to being tired at various points of the season. In fact, earlier this month, he ended one of his postgame interviews by yelling “i’m sleepy as shit!” But James understands that he’s not the only on the team that is feeling fatigued.
“We all need more rest, shit,” James said. “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 it at then. I have nothing but honest people around me, but I’m also honest with myself as well. Me having the love for the game and me being able to be available to my teammates is more important to me anything.”
James also doesn’t think he’s overexerted himself this season.
“I’m going out and playing the game,” James said. “I’m doing my job, I’m trying to do it at a high level ... I don’t need a hand out, I’m not looking for a hand out. My job is to go out when I’m available; when I’m healthy, to go out and play. That’s what it’s all about.”
Frank Vogel is still hoping to get James some rest soon, but if James has any say in the matter, it’s unlikely to happen.