One of the strategies we’ve seen employed in recent years by teams with superstars is that coaches are opting to rest players every now and again to keep them fresh for the long haul. LeBron James has not missed one Cleveland Cavaliers game this season. At age 33 in his 15th NBA season, LeBron is fourth in the league in total minutes played, third in the league in minutes per game at 37, and is top 10 in the NBA in usage rate.
Based on what Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue said on this topic, that’s not about to change, either.
“I just think being the leader of this team, I don’t think he thinks he can take games off, because, you know, guys being hurt and going through a rough patch, and now new guys coming in,” Lue said before the Cavs’ 112-89 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “So, I think he’s trying to lead and lead by example … I think we still got to be smart about the situation, but [the training staff] say he feels good.”
LeBron said this last month and things have not changed.
“I told you I want to play every game,” James said. “If my health continues as it is right now, then that’s what it is.”
At some point, logic dictates that James will have to slow down. After all, including all the international play he’s put in the past decade, he’s played more basketball than pretty much anyone on the face of planet Earth. At this point, however, his fitness, stamina, and desire to be the best keeps driving him to grind through it all.
And now that Cleveland is back in business with a revamped roster that looks capable of winning the east, James will likely only grind all the harder through the end of this season