Load management has become an important discussion in the NBA over the last 5 or six seasons. Coaches and organizations have been fined by the NBA for sitting star players, especially when the game in question is being televised nationally. Gregg Popovich popularized the idea of load management when the NBA fined the Spurs $250,000 after Popovich sent Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Danny Green back to San Antonio instead of playing them in Miami against the defending champion Heat in 2012. None of them was injured at the time. With reigning finals MVP Kawhi Leonard being rest for load management in Los Angeles, the press asked the other superstar at Staples Center about resting. Lebron James was adamant about playing.
“If I’m hurt, I don’t play. If not, I’m playing,” Lebron James told ESPN. “That’s what has always been my motto.” James did not buy into the narrative of him versus Kawhi though. When asked about his load management practice versus Kawhi, who is six years younger than James, the 3-time champion kept is direct. “LeBron’s healthy, LeBron’ll play. That’s all I’ll talk about, I don’t talk about nobody else but me.” The Lakers, who currently sit at 7-1, are scheduled for their first back-to-back next week.