Los Angeles Lakers head coach, Darvin Ham, is coming into the new NBA year with a clear agenda: limiting LeBron James’ minutes during the regular season.
In L.A.’s inaugural game of the season against the Denver Nuggets earlier this week, James played 29 minutes. He clearly had enough in the tank for more, and if he had played, the Lakers might have won.
But Ham opted against it.
“It’s easy with him to get caught up in the emotion of the game and you tend to forget you want to play these long stretches, but in order for him to be as effective as possible, we have to be mindful of the minute output and how long his stretches are,” Ham said afterwards.
One person who isn’t too keen on the minutes limitation it would appear? James himself.
LeBron doesn’t seem happy with the coaches rotations and usage of him in last nights game vs. the Nuggets
— 🦉 Lakers Vino (@VinoUncorked) October 26, 2023
That being said, after the Nuggets game, James played the role of the good soldier.
“Listen, I mean, I always want to be on the floor,” he said.
“Especially when you got an opportunity to win a game or you feel like you can make an impact. But this is the system in place and I’m going to follow it.”
It will be interesting to see how this dynamic plays out going forward. Clearly James is fine with playing his part – so long as the Lakers win.
Dennis Rodman’s Odd Take On Michael Jordan-Scottie Pippen Feud: https://t.co/OQqWZSw0eG
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 25, 2023
If they don’t, though – he can’t be expected to stay silent forever.
Will this minutes restriction ultimately prove to be a positive or negative for the Lakers going forward? Time will tell.
A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.