LeBron James Talks Dec. 22 Start, Health, Kyrie, More

Lakers star LeBron James was surprised when he first heard that the NBA wanted to start the 2020/21 season before Christmas instead of sometime in the new year, he told reporters on Monday. As Mark Medina of USA Today writes, James had to cancel a Christmas vacation that he had planned to take with his family.

“‘Oh, s–t,'” James said when asked to describe his reaction to the news of the December 22 start date. “I’m just being completely honest. I wasn’t expecting that.”

The quick turnaround means that James will get less time to rest than just about any other player in the NBA, since his Lakers played all the way up until October 11, when they beat Miami in Game 6 of the 2020 Finals. James said that he’s fully healthy, but admitted he was “super sore” after the Lakers’ first practice and said he’ll have to be careful about ramping up his activity for the coming season.

“We’re going to be as smart as we can be with making sure my body and making sure I’m ready to be available,” James said. “Obviously every game matters. But we’re competing for something that is high.”

In his media session on Monday and in a an appearance on the Road Trippin’ podcast with former teammates Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye, James addressed several more topics of interest. With the help of stories from Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Bill Oram of The Athletic, here are some of the most noteworthy quotes from LeBron:

On entering the 2020/21 season as defending champions:

“I guess the bull’s-eye just becomes even greater, if that’s even possible. For me personally, the bull’s-eye has always been on my back … since I entered the league. You add in the Laker name on top of that, the Lakers’ franchise, the bull’s-eye has been on this franchise for a long time as well.”

On how his new contract extension lines up his future with that of his son, Bronny James:

“The best thing about it is the year I’ll be a free agent will be the same year my oldest son graduates high school. So I’ll have some options to see, for me personally, what I want to do forward, being around my family, being around my son more or continue to play this game I love with great health and great spirits. We’ll see.”

On his reaction to Kyrie Irving calling Kevin Durant the first teammate he can trust as much as himself to take the final shot of a game:

“Once I got the whole transcript, I was like, ‘Damn,’ I wasn’t like, ‘Oh, you trippin’. I’ve hit game-winning shots my whole life.’ I was not like that. I was like, ‘Damn.’

“Because … I played with Kyrie for three seasons. The whole time when I was there, I only wanted to see him be a MVP of our league. I only cared about his success. And it just didn’t align. It just didn’t align. And we were able to win a championship. That’s the craziest thing. We were still able to win a championship, and we could never align. But I only cared about his well-being, both on and off the floor.

“And it kind of hurt me a little bit.”

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33 thoughts on “LeBron James Talks Dec. 22 Start, Health, Kyrie, More

  1. harden (mvp),wall, and wood

    Plus his Lakers are playing 16 games, including 3 back-to-backs, in the first month of the season. LeBron will require a ton of load management.

    • GoLandCrabs

      Ok Rockets boy get your quota on mindless Lakers hate in for the day. Now get back to worrying about trading your overrated “superstar”.

    • KnickerbockerAl

      How can you associate a teams name with their star who wants out. I could never support a player who doesn’t want to play for my team.

    • Tatsumaki

      His ego is the size of the sun. Probably thinks the nba will end should he retire. Sadly he isn’t Kobe Bryant let alone mj and almost no one will miss him once he finally retires. Lebron is all about himself and is hopeful that his kid will be a continuation of his legacy unfortunately, he isn’t that good so he will probably look to own a team.

      • Lakers1

        Have you seen his kid play.. he’s pretty good on a dominant high school team.. he isn’t trying to be Kobe or mj.. he’s trying to be lebron.. all the brim haters needs to get over it.. he’s a generational talent and. People will care when he stops playing.. just enjoy the ride because he won’t be around much longer.. the better comparison for lebron is magic because they both did everything.. scored, rebounded, assists.. they made their teammates better..

      • Wait, you think Kobe and MJ were less egotistical than Lebron? That’s just stupid. One wasn’t more than the other. You just hate Lebron and need to get over your own ego.

      • El Don

        Come on dude Kobe was a good player, a second star, never the man… LBJ is a walking legend that has already done more for the LAL in 2 years than Kobe did in 20!

        • Lakers1

          Kobe didn’t do anything without having a shaq or Odom and gasol.. lebron toon scrub cav teams to the finals.. Kobe was a great player.. mj was a great player.. they didn’t elevate their teammates play though.. lebron does.. magic did

          • Dxit90a

            Lebron is a selfish player and only plays one style of him dominating the ball. He can’t adjust to any other style. MJ was a ball dominated player early on in his career. Then he adjusted to the triangle and shared ball handling duties with Pippen. Lebron does not improve his teammates. He just trades anybody that does not fit his style and when the times get tough he throws his teammates under the bus and ditches them to go to another team. MJ was a fighter and stood with his teammates and pushed them to be better ( mostly through tough love) . He raised the skill levels of Pippen , Paxton ,Kerr, Paxton , Harper to name a few. he never asked to trade any teammates and never left them for another team when they got older or went through tough times. Lebron will always be about his brand only . He will never be better than MJ .

            • Tatsumaki

              @dxit90a exactly!!!!! It helps having hof caliber players on a squad yearly! Where was lebron his first year with lakers and a bunch of young dudes???? Missed playoffs lmao, but but lebron leads in almost ever statistical categories (not mentioning era, 3 point implementation and spacing, and not being able to play defense) sure let’s prop up guys like harden, lebron, luka doncic in a weak era in which if put in the 80/90’s makes them basically ineffective. Sound logic

              • Lakers1

                Lakers were 4 seed in 1st year Couple games out of 1st when he got hurt.. then ingram and ball went down.. missing 3 starters … so flimsy excuse.. I guess steph curry wasn’t anything when klay went down because he got hurt too and they had worst record in nba..

                • Dxit90a

                  It was obvious Lebron quiet on his team that year and his teammates quit on him because he wanted to trade any of them for AD. That is not a leader that is a person who wants the shortcut .

              • Dxit90a

                That is because he has the ball in his hand all the time and can’t play off it .

            • Lakers1

              Jordan averaged 24 shot attempts pretty much throughout his career.. he had two seasons of 25 and 27 but other then that 24 per game and about 5 asts per game throughout so triangle didn’t adjust his stats..Scottie pippen ranked as top 25 player all time .. higher than any other player lebron has had as a sidekick..including wade who is by far the best player he has had before ad. Jordan also had kukoc and Rodman.. hall of famers.. enough of the lebron vs Jordan debate.. totally different players but Jordan never did anything until phil jackson coached him ..same with Kobe..lebron won with a new coach spolestra, lue and vogel..

              • Dxit90a

                That is not the point . The point I am saying is MJ can play off the ball or with the ball. Lebron can only play with the ball in his hand . Can’t play off it. Also Lebron played with more future HOF than anyone ( Wade, Bosh, Kyrie , ray allen, AD, Kevin love is borderline hall of famer ) .
                Jordan helped to form a HOF out of Scottie Pippen he did not trade for one or join them.
                Also about coaches spolestra is a great coach and he proved it without Lebron and HOF players. Phil Jackson was a rookie unknown coach in his Chicago bulls days. vogel And Lue still have time to proof if they are great.

                • Lakers1

                  Wade hall of famer.. doubt bosh is.. kyrie hasn’t proven to be a hall of famer.. his teams have been successful when he left..How many winning seasons has kyrie teams had when he’s not injured.. celtics team went deep in playoffs without him and imploded the year he came back healthy.. nets team made playoffs without him.. lebron took Warriors to 6 games when kyrie and love were both out.. pippen led bulls to eastern finals without Jordan.. they also had kukoc.. jordan was pretty ball dominant..

            • He leads the league in assists and he’s ball dominate? LBJ will dribble a lot but he’ll always pass when a guy is open. Kobe dribbled the ball
              Till 8 seconds on the clock and then went one on one or one on two or three. Not even close.

          • Tatsumaki

            5-2 greater than 4-6 pau gasol doesn’t equal ad, kyrie, wade, bosh. Case closed. Based on statistics the shaq and Kobe rings ranked in the top 5 in difficulty with mj bulls and rockets chips with only 1 of lebrons rings ranking inside top 10. Lmao!!!!! Backed by statistics last years ring ranked 38/39 in terms of difficulty!!!! 3 of lebrons rings are ranked in 20’s over the last 40 years, meaning easy runs to playoffs where the only real competition is in finals. Lebum

            link to youtu.be

            Again showing you guys know nothing about basketball accept what the tv tells you lol!!!!!

            • Kowalski

              I hate kobe but i think he’s a great basketball player. Same with MJ, i never was much of a fan. Now, put out the hate, appreciate what they have done during their career! Do this also with lebron and never compare the 3 because thats just not fair for them, imo!

            • The Howler

              If all of the talent was divided equally among the 30 teams resulting in each team going 41-41 with an SRS of 0.0 (average) would the champion that year have the easiest or the most difficult road to the championship?

              • imindless

                Howler while as much could be said that based on position and era the refereeing has changed dramatic in the past 20 years. The eye test supports srs we all saw the toughest roads to the finals being primarily in 90-00’s The argument gets stale when people try to argue that lebron trips to finals are anything worthy of consideration. The east has been the leastern conference for the last 20 years and continues to be an easy path to finals. Outside of the years lebron was on cleveland there has been a consistent team to come out of the East that doesn’t have lebron james on the roster. Raptors played gsw without 2 star players…..lebron goes to the west plays 55 games and missed playoffs so in typical lebron fashion trades for a top 5 player in ad and wins a ring in one of the easiest paths in recent years. Not my goat.

                • The Howler

                  My points were about about trying objectively (statistically) to compare players from different years. Statistically comparing 2019-20 to 2018-19 is arguably valid, comparing 2019-20 to 1995-96 is not.

                • KnickerbockerAl

                  Another FanBoy who drank Brons sweat during playoffs. Now making up stuff to make a point. LOL did he refuse you his shorts or what.
                  Lakers got AD cause they had players and draft picks. What did Bron have to do with that.
                  Raptors had 4 all stars on that team.
                  Last 20 yrs the East has won 8 Titles.
                  From 90 -00 the East has won 8 Titles West 4.
                  The west has been better last 20 yrs. That goes in cycles. It’s not stars who win titles its Teams. Stars help, some help a lot like Bron. But if they aren’t team guys. They will not win. Your brain might like it simple. Real life isn’t simple. The great ones just make it look that way.
                  The Easter conference and Western conference. Were established in 1970-71 till today 2019-20. Even though the West has been more dominant in inter conference gms. The West has won 27 Titles. The East has won 23. The north east taught America how to ball. I’m not even a Bron fan. You don’t know Ball if you think you can talk bad about him. There has never been a basketball player. With his mix of talent. Physicality, IQ. Big O, Kareem, MJ, Russell, Magic only ones there with Bron.

            • The Howler

              If a GM were somehow able to sign the entire Western Conference All Star team and then go 82-0 while trashing every other team’s SRS resulting in their total playoff SRS being low. Should we sneer at the team as having an easy time and not worthy as a great team?

            • The Howler

              The last point is that the SRS identifies relative talent and coaching differences within a season but DOES NOT identify talent and coaching differences between seasons. Using it to compare teams between seasons is a problem that SRS suffers. The next time a youtube expert says “it has problems like other stats” it is probably best to check out what the problems are before blathering on about how you are teaching us lessons about the NBA.

  2. The Howler

    Don’t be hurt LeBron…everyone falls out of love with Kyrie at some point.

  3. ??? Why does LeBron think he deserves more time off? When GSW wentr to 5 straight championships they were tired playing more games than any other team during those years. When the Bulls, lakers, Celtics went to championships every year they were tired too but still never complained. Lebron needs to admit he is getting up there in age and just needs to rest more.

    • bowserhound

      They always had more than a few weeks off between seasons so….Jimmy Butler could make the same argument and be correct.

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