LeBron James re-iterated Sunday night that he has zero interest in being load managed in Year 17.
“If I’m healthy, then I’m gonna play,” James told reporters after posting 32 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks in the Lakers’ 101-96 road win against the Atlanta Hawks.
Los Angeles has now won 14 in a row away from Staples Center.
Per The LA Times:
“If I’m healthy, I play,” James said. “I mean, that should be the approach. I mean, unless we’re getting to like late in the season and we’ve clinched and we can’t get any better or any worse, it could benefit from that, but why wouldn’t I play if I’m healthy? It doesn’t make any sense to me, personally.
“I mean, I don’t know how many games I got left in my career. I don’t know how many kids that may show up to a game and they’re there to come see me play and if I sit out, then what? That’s my obligation.”
Before the win against Atlanta, [Lakers head coach Frank] Vogel said James was the one deciding whether he would or wouldn’t play in games this season.
“He knows that we’re open minded and even encouraging him to look for smart opportunities to recharge the batteries. But we’re respecting what he wants to do, and he wants to be in there,” Vogel said of James, who was chosen the NBA’s Western Conference player of the week on Monday. “So, like I said, we’re going to respect that.”