LeBron James Sits Out Lakers’ Preseason Opener

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Although LeBron James won’t be on the court for his team’s exhibition opener against the Golden State Warriors this Saturday, the Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar has voiced his intention to log considerable playing time throughout the preseason.

LeBron James won’t be on the court for his team’s exhibition opener against the Golden State Warriors this Saturday, but the Los Angeles Lakers superstar has expressed his intention to participate in a significant number of preseason games.

“We’ve got six preseason games lined up, so I’m aiming to make it to at least half of them,” James mentioned during Thursday’s practice. “However, it’ll depend on how things unfold. I can confirm I won’t be playing in Saturday’s game in the Bay, but we’ll assess the situation after that.”

At almost 39 years old, LeBron James holds the distinction of being the NBA’s oldest active player. His previous season saw him sidelined for 27 games due to a significant right foot injury, which he recently described as a “pretty much torn tendon.” Despite this, early reports from training camp suggest his performance has been impressive and promising.

Lakers Coach Darvin Ham confirmed that LeBron James has fully recovered from his injury and has regained his explosive abilities, stating, “Without question, he’s back at 100%. He resembles the LeBron from his third or fourth year.”

Nonetheless, it’s crucial to recognize that James is embarking on his 21st season. While he maintains an impressive level of athleticism, the team, along with his longtime athletic trainer, Mike Mancias, is committed to taking necessary precautions to ensure his well-being.

“We collaborate and communicate on what those steps will be,” Ham said. “We make sure we come up with an effective plan. The beautiful thing about the way we move forward is one, he’s in phenomenal shape; two, he’s probably got more years in experience outside of [Anthony Davis] than the entire team combined in terms of games played and minutes played. And he takes phenomenal care of himself.”

L.A. continues its preseason schedule with a game in Las Vegas on Monday against the Brooklyn Nets, followed by a game against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday in Anaheim and home games against the Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks before finishing the ramp up in Palm Springs against the Phoenix Sunson Oct. 19, five days ahead of the regular-season tipoff on the road against the Denver Nuggets.

“Just kind of easing into it,” Ham said of the plan for James. “The fact that our roster is what it is, he doesn’t have to come start the season with his cape on, so to speak. … The help that he has around him will allow him to not have to be full throttle in every practice and every preseason game.”


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