The 2019-20 NBA season came to a grinding halt amid the global outbreak of coronavirus and a timetable for when it will resume still has yet to be determined.
As a result, the Los Angeles Lakers now find themselves with plenty of time on their hands as the league continues to navigate through the ongoing pandemic. It has certainly been an unexpected change-of-pace from the daily grind that the players had become accustomed to.
There has been plenty of talk about the positives that come with extra rest for veterans like LeBron James. Unfortunately, it appears to be quite the opposite.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, James feels all the time off is hardly ideal given where the season left off after 63 games:
“When you’ve been building six months of conditioning and preparation and then (it’s gone), the narrative that I don’t like (is), ‘Well, now guys get so much rest.’ Or, like, ‘LeBron, he’s 35, he’s got so many minutes on his body, now he gets so much rest,'” he said. “It’s actually the opposite for me because my body, when we stopped playing, was asking me, like, ‘What the hell are you doing?’
James added the break has disrupted the team’s rhythm:
“So, the rest factor, I think it’s a little bit overly blown. Especially when you’re in the full swing of things.”
James’ comments are certainly understandable considering he has spent the bulk of his 16-year career preparing for a deep playoff push around this time. The fact that he is now forced to take all this time off has apparently left his body going through some serious withdrawals from basketball.
James was in the midst of a Most Valuable Player-caliber campaign when the league suspended play due to the coronavirus. His dominance at 35 years old has been nothing short of remarkable and it is clear he was looking to keep it going into the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Lakers secured a comfortable lead atop the Western Conference at 49-14 heading into the final stretch of the season. More importantly, they seemingly started to click on all cylinders after defeating the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers in back-to-back games before the hiatus began.
Although it remains to be seen if and when the season will resume any time soon, there is no question the onus will ultimately fall on James to get this team back on track.