“If I’m hurt, I don’t play. If not, I’m playing,” James said to ESPN after L.A.’s Lakers’ 95-80 victory against the Heat Friday night. “That’s what has always been my motto.”
James, who will turn 35 in December, is in the midst of another characteristically strong season. He’s averaging 26.1 PPG and an NBA-best 11.1 APG for the Western Conference-leading Lakers. However, he is also coming off a season in which he suffered his first major injury, a torn groin that sidelined him for several months.
With fellow California superstar Kawhi Leonard regularly missing games for “load management,” there has been a lot of talk this fall about players sitting games despite being healthy enough to play. The Clippers were, however, fined $50K for providing conflicting statements on Leonard’s health status.
James refused to address Leonard or any other player and their plans to stay healthy for the duration of a season.
“I’m healthy, I play,” he said. “I probably got a good 45 years to not play basketball.”