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The Los Angeles Lakers‘ loss wasn’t the biggest talking point of the NBA’s opening day.
Once again, the narrative centered around something else: LeBron James and his longevity.
Everybody talked about the fact that James played only 28 minutes in the season opener, and it only got worse when coach Darvin Ham confirmed that he was going to keep him under a minute restriction throughout the course of the whole season.
That’s why it was kind of shocking to see James on the court for 35 minutes in his very next game, not to mention the fact that he played the entire fourth quarter.
When asked about that, Ham argued that he asked LeBron how he felt before the fourth quarter, and considering that he had several timeouts and the team was in need of a comeback, he decided to keep James on the floor for the full 12 minutes (via Jovan Buha).
Darvin Ham says he asked LeBron “How are you feeling?” before the fourth quarter. LeBron said he was feeling good. And with the Lakers down 12, and Ham having multiple timeouts left, he said he made the call to play LeBron all 12 minutes in the fourth.
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) October 27, 2023
Needless to say, no one will criticize him for having his best player on the court, especially when he needs to win the game.
Still, it’s kind of fishy to see that he broke his own promise just two days after going on record to say that James wouldn’t play more than 30 minutes a game.
LeBron didn’t seem to be on board with that idea, and this will lead to all sorts of speculation, as James has a well-documented history of overpowering his coaches.
At the end of the day, the Lakers won, and that’s all that Ham should care about for now.
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