The Los Angeles Lakers have endured a particularly exhausting week due to playing three straight overtime games. LeBron James clocked league-high 43.3 minutes per night during that span, prompting concerns over his health moving forward.
The four-time champion had to take on extra duties in the absence of Anthony Davis, who missed two of the three games due to an Achilles injury. Following the 114-113 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel released James from his media responsibilities, saying it would give him “the rest necessary.”
“Obviously we’ll continue to evaluate how he’s feeling, his workload on a game-by-game basis, and make decisions on a game-by-game basis,” Vogel added.
The Lakers coach acknowledged that deploying James for more than 40 minutes in consecutive games wasn’t a desirable situation. However, Vogel noted his All-Star responded to the extra workload well. “There’s always concern, but his body has been felling good,” he said.
“These aren’t scripted plans to go to overtime each night and get him up to 40 minutes, but he’s going to be in there in those situations to win the game.”
Many expected James to ease into the 2020-21 season and even miss the campaign’s first few weeks. However, Vogel clarified shortly after Opening Night he wouldn’t place minute restrictions on the forward.
However, the coach later said James would be able to take a night off if he felt like his body needed some extra rest.
James reportedly enjoyed playing three straight overtime games
Despite the workload, Dennis Schroder claimed that James in fact relished the opportunity to play extended minutes in recent games. “He told me he liked it that he played three overtime games,” Schroder said.
“He said he’s got to get in shape and he’s liking it. Of course, everybody is going to be a little tired, but it’s always great to get the W.”
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