At 36-years-old, LeBron James has to take extra care of his body if he wants to stay healthy and play at an All-Star level all season long.
Still, LeBron seems especially vulnerable after missing a significant chunk of the 2020-21 campaign, where he only played in 45 out of 72 games.
With questions swirling about his durability, LeBron made sure to set the record straight on his body and what we should expect from him heading into year 19.
“The best thing about the summertime is that I had time. I had time to really just give it an opportunity to get ready to where my ankle was ready to go,” James said. “I was always training. I wasn’t on the basketball court, but I was always doing other stuff, training, pushing and seeing things I could do with my ankle until I got to a point where I didn’t feel any sharp pains anymore, and my flexibility was back to where it was before."
It is no secret that the Lakers superstar takes extraordinary measures to keep himself in top physical position, but there is more he could do if he wants to ensure he's ready for his team's title run.
It has been suggested by some that James should take a step back during regular season play to save and preserve his body for the playoffs. Lighter minutes or nights off seem to be an easy way for the guy to avoid injury.
Unsurprisingly, he scoffed at the idea.
"I don’t play the game thinking about injuries. And also, I feel worse when I play low minutes.”
James has never been one to embrace "load management," and we can't expect him to start now.
No matter his age, or mileage, LeBron is going to play when he can. As for his body, we'll just have to trust that it will hold up -- just like it has almost every other season.