After averaging at least 35.0 minutes per game in his first two seasons, LeBron James is expected to see his playing time decrease in the first few weeks of the 2023-2024 Lakers season.
However, Los Angeles lost to the current NBA champion Denver Nuggets on Opening Day, which caused head coach Davin Ham to return to the traditional work plan of “King James”.
Just like that, the four-time regular season and league finals MVP played all 35 minutes of Thursday night’s game as his Lakers defeated the Phoenix Suns 100×95. There, he scored 21 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists, and played the entire last quarter, helping the team overcome the disadvantage.
“Coach (Ham) asked me if I could play the entire fourth quarter, and I looked at the scoreboard and the clock and I thought the answer was simple. I know how hard I worked to be able to play the full minutes,” King James said. “I have a work plan, but tonight I need to be on the court as long as possible and help the team win,” ESPN said.
“Coach asked me if I could play the entire fourth quarter, and I looked at the score and time and thought the answer was simple.”
– LeBron James
The Lakers’ next game is Sunday at the home court of the Sacramento Kings, which means another interesting test to see if the coaching staff once again deviates from its original plan to put oxygen on the 38-year-old LeBron.