LeBron James ignores narrative of high usage: ‘I’m a staple in this game’
A future Hall of Famer, LeBron James’ 42 points against the San Antonio Spurs helped the Los Angeles Lakers close out a swift 4-0 homestand, with 20 of them coming in the fourth quarter to give his team a 121-113 win. Following the game, James was asked if the recent talk surrounding his high usage fueled his play but the 33-year-old NBA veteran, who has had one of the most storied careers in NBA history, nonchalantly tuned out the outside noise.
“No, for what? I’m past the [taking things] personal stage,” said James, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I can do whatever. I can have a huge workload, I can have a not so huge workload… It doesn’t matter for me. What’s most important is seeing my teammates make huge shots in the fourth quarter… That’s what’s most important to me. I can care less about the narrative about me. It doesn’t matter. I’m a staple in this game.”
President Magic Johnson and even Lakers icon Kobe Bryant had both expressed concern for James’ high usage in recent games, hoping this wouldn’t turn out as the next episode of last season’s Cleveland Cavaliers.
Despite the usage and worry about his longevity come the postseason, James has managed to make the right decision, knowing when to take the proverbial foot off the accelerator, and when to lay a huge brick on it — going pedal to the metal to give his young team a fighting chance against a ruthless Western Conference.
James — as he’s wont to do — went on a personal flurry, ripping off 14 straight points to turn a 91-85 Spurs lead to 99-97 lead in favor of the Lakers in four minutes of play.
Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart combined to score the Lakers’ next 13 points before James put the finishing touches with five more points in the final 1:13 of regulation, including a 29-foot step-back 3-pointer to seal the victory.
Though bringing down James’ workload would be ideal, this is exactly why they signed the 14-time All-Star in the offseason. To be the workhorse that carried the Lakers to the promised land