LeBron James wants to play 82 games this season, and the Cleveland Cavaliers are finally on a roll with the NBA playoffs just around the corner.
If the four-time MVP manages to do that, it would be the first season in his career where he won’t miss a single game.
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said that James is leading by example to the other players right now being the leader of the team. He said that his best player thinks that he can’t take games off because the team is still struggling to get its identity with all the injuries and roster changes.
“I think he’s trying to lead and lead by example,” he said. “I think we still got to be smart about the situation.”
That means Lue could still decide to sit James just like what he did when the 33-year-old, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were issued a DNP in a game against the Grizzlies in December 2016. Lue since apologized to the fans because they deserved better but ultimately, the health of the players needed to be protected.
However, Lue added that the training staff is constantly evaluating the three-time champion and they believe he’s still good to go.
Already into his 15th season, James is still playing 37 minutes per game, a hair under the 37.8 minutes he was logging in last season. Last season he only played 74 games. He’s averaging 25.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 8.9 assists this season. He’s on pace to post his best assist per season average and it has something to do with bringing up the ball more with the exit of Kyrie Irving.
“I told you I want to play every game,” James told reporters back in January. “If my health continues as it is right now, then that’s what it is.”