LeBron James has been training hard to get ready for his 21st season in the NBA. It is going to be interesting to see how many games he might end up playing in the new season, being injury-free. But prior to that, the 17-time champions will face the Golden State Warriors in the preseason opener. As per the latest information, King James won’t take part in the preseason opener against the Warriors despite being healthy.
It raises concern over the fitness of the oldest player in the league. As LeBron James will turn 39 next December, he is the oldest active player in the ongoing league after Udonis Haslem, a former Miami Heat center, retired. Darvin Ham told ESPN on Thursday that LeBron James looks fitter than ever before. At present, LBJ looks like his third or fourth-year version. That’s what the Lakers coach feels.
Why LeBron James Won’t Play In The Preseason Opener?
Last season, despite the injury concerns, LeBron James had an average of 28.9 points, 6.8 assists and 8.3 rebounds. However, LeBron James has not yet played a whole season for the Lakers since he joined in 2018. The 2020 bubble championship was different because it ended in only 67 games. Perhaps the idea for James not playing in the preseason opener is to get into the half of the six preseason games. LeBron James told ESPN that he won’t play on Saturday for sure. However, they will see what happens next. On Monday, the Lakers will meet the Brooklyn Nets for their second preseason game in Las Vegas.
🤯 LeBron’s reaction! 💥 pic.twitter.com/SVMEK1Miyt— NBA (@NBA) October 5, 2023
Later, the Laker’s preseason will end on October 19 in Palm Springs against the Phoneix Suns. Moreover, the Lakers coach talked about the season opener on October 24, saying that there is no need to take any risk with LeBron James in the team. Darvin Ham mentioned LBJ is kind of easing into it. After all the roster the Lakers have got is very promising. Neither LeBron James nor the team needs to try anything risky right away. Moreover, Darvin Ham said the balance in the team won’t make James desperate to go full throttle every preseason or practice game.
Can The James-Davis Duo Play More Than 70 Games Next Season?
In the last few seasons, LBJ has not managed to play more than 65 games because he has not been entirely healthy. For instance, last season, the all-time scoring leader sustained a tendon injury on his right foot. Later, he stayed out for almost a month and missed more than 20 games. But in LBJ’s absence, Anthony Davis led the side well to make the postseason. However, the King knows, and the fans know too, that if the Los Angeles Lakers have to win the title, then they will need the James-Davis duo to play a lot more games than before.
This duo is desperate to win one more title with the Lakers. Can they repeat the same feat of the 2020 bubble championship in the next season? But to repeat the same feat, they must stay healthy. Moreover, the Lakers are busy prepping in the training camp at present. Both Anthony Davis and LeBron James look pretty healthy and energetic to give their best in the next season. The Lakers team can’t wait to start their next season journey against the Denver Nuggets in the season opener on October 24.