LeBron James to play the least amount of minutes in his career
At 33 years of age, with 15 grueling seasons (and counting) under his belt, and with an unprecedented five straight NBA Finals appearances, LeBron James continues to push his body to the absolute limit. When he decided to take his talents to Hollywood this summer by joining a very young Los Angeles Lakers side that has been sub-.500 over the past five seasons, it was an indication that James believed that he still had a lot left in his tank.
LeBron is ready to take on yet another monumental challenge of building a team from the ground up. The good news is that, according to The Athletic resident contributor and basketball analyst Andy Kamentzky, James is projected to play the least amount of minutes in his career this upcoming season.
“To me, 33.5 mpg feels like a great goal,” Kamentzky notes. “Shaving just 3.4 minutes may sound trivial, but over the course of 82 games, 278.8 minutes add up. It’s difficult to believe LeBron’s body wouldn’t benefit from that time off, especially as the Lakers enter the playoffs.”
In his prognosis, Kamentzky refutes that of ESPN’s Kevin Pelton who believes that James will be asked to put in 36 minutes per night — the most in the entire Lakers squad.
Kamentzky is more forgiving, and believes that 33.5 mpg is a more ideal and realistic projection for James. He is banking heavily on the contributions of the likes of Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma, who both already have one season’s worth of experience. Other guys like Brandon Ingram and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will also need to step up in a big way if they hope to help LeBron pace himself in preparation for a optimistically extended Playoffs run.