LeBron James claimed on social media Wednesday that the quick turnaround between last season’s finish at the Orlando “bubble” and this season has contributed to the multitude of injuries to key players, Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes.
In a series of Twitter posts, James said he predicted that the short period between seasons would lead to injury issues.
“Hey all didn’t wanna listen to me about the start of the season. I knew exactly what would happen. I only wanted to protect the well being of the players which ultimately is the PRODUCT & BENEFIT of OUR GAME! These injuries isn’t just “PART OF THE GAME”. It’s the lack of PURE RIM REST before starting back up.”
James, teammate Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Chris Paul, Jamal Murray, Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, Jaylen Brown and Joel Embiid are among the star players who either missed time during the postseason or have tried to play through injuries.
“This is the best time of the year for our league and fans but missing a ton of our fav players. It’s insane,” James wrote.
James was critical of the league’s decision, which the Players Associated signed off on, to start the season in late December. He was also unenthused when the league chose to hold an All-Star Game during the pandemic.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass refuted James’ claims about a significant increase in injuries to star players and in general, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets.
“Injury rates were virtually the same this season as they were during 2019-20 while starter-level and All-Star players missed games due to injury at similar rates as the last three seasons,” said Bass, while adding, “While injuries are an unfortunate reality of our game, we recognize the enormous sacrifices NBA players and teams have made to play through this pandemic.”