LeBron James sat out his first recreation of the season simply earlier than the All-Star break and Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel confirmed it was greater than only a formality to get his famous person an additional few days off.
Regardless of his superhero-like physique and iron-man mentality, James seems to be feeling the damage and tear of the season.
James has mentioned a number of occasions that he’s not frightened about relaxation because the Lakers eye a championship repeat. Nonetheless, he’s been logging massive minutes with fellow star Anthony Davis out with a calf pressure and Achilles challenge.
“I believe this entire narrative of ‘LeBron wants extra relaxation’ or I ought to take extra relaxation or I ought to take time right here, it’s develop into quite a bit larger than what it really is,” James instructed reporters final month. “I’ve by no means talked about it, I don’t discuss it, I don’t imagine in it. All of us want extra relaxation, s—. It is a quick turnaround from final season, and all of us want we might have extra relaxation. However I’m right here to work, I’m right here to punch my clock in and be accessible to my teammates.”
Load administration has been a purpose for James to sit down previously, however he’s been nursing a nagging ankle harm for many of the yr. Vogel mentioned that was the catalyst in getting him an evening off heading into the break.
“We’ve had a mindset to encourage him to take a recreation off if wanted, however to assist him if he needs to be in there,” Vogel instructed reporters. “He’s all the time mentioned that if his physique feels good, he needs to play. He’s fairly banged up proper now and notably soreness within the ankle and so we took this chance to maintain him house this recreation.”
Frank Vogel mentioned LeBron is fairly banged up proper now, notably along with his sore ankle, they usually inspired him to take the chance to get therapy and relaxation tonight. It’s the primary recreation he’s missed all season.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) March 4, 2021
LeBron James No Longer MVP Frontrunner
James is having one other MVP-caliber season, averaging 25.eight factors, eight rebounds and seven.eight assists. He’s been the frontrunner for the award the previous couple of weeks however was just lately jumped by 76ers middle Joel Embiid.
James is +260 to with the award, per FanDuel, behind the Philly massive man, who has leaped to +210. Denver’s Nikola Jokic (+420) and Golden State’s Stephen Curry (+1200) maintain the subsequent closest within the odds.
James has mentioned previously that he doesn’t lose sleep over MVP awards — a sentiment Davis confirmed.
“Put it to you want this,” Davis instructed The Athletic’s Invoice Oram. “I do know that that man doesn’t care about MVP awards. He cares about championships.
“So if he loses the MVP and wins the championship like he did final yr, he doesn’t care. In order that’s what his mindset is, he’s not targeted on MVPs. He’s targeted on Finals MVPs.”
LeBron James Not Utilizing All-Star Recreation to Recruit
James participated within the All-Star Draft on Thursday as an All-Star captain. He joked that he won’t be utilizing the sport to recruit any future Lakers teammates — this yr, at the very least.
“Pay attention, I’m wanting on the roster man, and I don’t see many upcoming free brokers,” James mentioned on the TNT broadcast. “So I’ll be choosing for the Staff LeBron All-Stars, as an alternative of the Lakers this yr.”
A slight oversight by James was that Clippers star Kawhi Leonard — who ended up on Kevin Durant’s crew — may very well be an unrestricted free agent subsequent offseason if he declines his playoff possibility.
James is logging his 17th All-Star look — third-most in NBA historical past, behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (19) and Kobe Bryant (18). That is his fourth time being chosen as an All-Star captain.
James is the main scorer in All-Star Recreation historical past and can prolong his document for consecutive All-Star begins to 17. Durant is the opposite All-Star Captain however won’t play within the recreation. With James limping into the break, we’ll see what number of minutes he logs.
Listed here are the complete NBA All-Star rosters following the draft:
- 1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Milwaukee Bucks
- 2. Stephen Curry, G, Golden State Warriors
- 3. Luka Doncic, F, Dallas Mavericks
- 4. Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets
- C. LeBron James, F, Los Angeles Lakers
- 1. Damian Lillard, G, Portland Path Blazers
- 2. Ben Simmons, G, Philadelphia 76ers
- 3. Chris Paul, G, Phoenix Suns
- 4. Jaylen Brown, F, Boston Celtics
- 5. Paul George, G, Los Angeles Clippers
- 6. Domantas Sabonis, F, Indiana Pacers
- 7. Rudy Gobert, C, Utah Jazz
- 1. Kyrie Irving, G, Brooklyn Nets
- 2. Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers
- 3. Kawhi Leonard, F, Los Angeles Clippers
- 4. Bradley Beal, G, Washington Wizards
- 5. Jayson Tatum, F, Boston Celtics
- 1. James Harden, G, Brooklyn Nets
- 2. Devin Booker, G, Phoenix Suns
- 3. Zion Williamson, F, New Orleans Pelicans
- 4. Zach LaVine, G, Chicago Bulls
- 5. Julius Randle, F, New York Knicks
- 6. Nikola Vucevic, C, Orlando Magic
- 7. Donovan Mitchell, G, Utah Jazz
Davis was chosen as an All-Star, however won’t play resulting from harm. It was his eighth choice.
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