LeBron James is clearly in playoff mode, despite the fact that a real game has yet to be played since the Orlando restart. On Instagram, he hyped up the first scrimmage, and then followed it up with a 12-point 5-assist effort in just 15 minutes.
Those numbers might seem low, but considering they are meaningless games, it’s rather surprising James even suited up at all, especially considering his age and the minutes he’s already racked up this season.
In game two, he played even longer — dropping 20 points and 7 assists in 25 minutes. No superstar seems to be going as hard as LeBron in these scrimmages, and even his teammate AD has been careful (he logged just over 9 minutes in the most recent contest).
So why is James putting so much energy into these games? On Twitter, Skip Bayless shared his take on it explaining that the King can’t help but put on a show when he’s on tv.
LeBron amazes me. He’s keeping himself in this 2nd restart scrimmage game into the third quarter … yet he has played THE THIRD MOST MINUTES IN NBA HISTORY. Man just can’t help himself. If it’s basketball and it’s on TV, he’s just going to play … and play … and play.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) July 25, 2020
It’s no secret that LeBron seems to like the idea of being the center of attention. Since the very beginning of his career, he put himself in the spotlight, calling himself the “chosen one” and even making his 2010 decision a live television event.
His hunger for stardom may be part of the reason he went to L.A. in the first place.
But to say that he’s willing to risk his health and career to play meaningless scrimmages just for attention seems a bit too far. It is hard to blame Bron for wanting to be out there. After a long hiatus, wouldn’t anyone be excited and eager to take the court again?
LeBron has a long history of wanting to appease the fans and he has never taken part in the “load management” traditions his peers have made so popular. LeBron is just out there doing his job, and that shouldn’t necessarily be a problem.
Still, it won’t stop Skip and others from interpreting it a different way — they always do.