At 34 years old and in his 16th NBA season, LeBron James has played the 17th-most minutes during the regular season (46,098) and most all-time during the playoffs (10,049).
With James in the first year of a four-year, $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the team’s top priorities has been limiting his minutes. As James is playing a career-low 35.3 minutes per game and the Lakers are set to miss the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season, both sides recently decided on a minutes restriction where he may not play back-to-back situations.
While the situation is ‘challenging’ for James mentally, it appears he sees the benefits at this stage of his career. “Absolutely I’ve thought about how my summer is going to be,” he said.
“It’s unfortunate that we’re so far out of the postseason right now and looking like we won’t be a part of it. Obviously, the first thing that comes to mind is just taking care of my body. I’ve played a lot of basketball, played a lot of minutes over my 16-year career.
“So getting an opportunity to have a couple more months to take care of my body and refresh my mind and my body, is going to be very key going into my 17th year. So I’m looking forward to that.”
After being extremely durable throughout his career, James suffered a groin injury against the Golden State Warriors that cost him 17 consecutive games. It marked the longest absence for James due to injury.
Considering the severity of the his strain, James has rarely looked like himself despite averaging a near triple-double upon returning.
With James having two extra months during the offseason, it will be interesting to see how he performs throughout the 2019-20 NBA season. Although he suffered the injury by slipping, James was coming off a season in which he played all 82 games for the first time.