LeBron James slams NBA over injury crisis: ‘Didn’t wanna listen’

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LeBron James is going after the NBA once again.

Amid a rash of injuries to star players during the NBA playoffs, James took the league to task on Twitter for starting this season just two months after the 2020 NBA Finals — an issue he was vocal about when the league’s schedule initially was announced.

“They all didn’t wanna listen to me about the start of the season. I knew exactly what would happen,” James wrote. “I only wanted to protect the well being of the players which ultimately is the PRODUCT & BENEFIT of OUR GAME! These injuries isn’t just “PART OF THE GAME”. It’s the lack of PURE RIM REST rest before starting back up. 8, possibly 9 ALL-STARS has missed Playoff games(most in league history). This is the best time of the year for our league and fans but missing a ton of our fav players. It’s insane. If there’s one person that know about the body and how it works all year round it’s ME! I speak for the health of all our players and I hate to see this many injuries this time of the year. Sorry fans wish you guys were seeing all your fav guys right now.”

James’ comments came after it was reported the Clippers fear Kawhi Leonard suffered an ACL injury, putting his status for the rest of the postseason in question with his team tied 2-2 with the Jazz in the second round entering Wednesday.

Nets stars James Harden and Kyrie Irving, a former of teammate of James, as well as James’ current Lakers teammate Anthony Davis and the 76ers’ Joel Embiid are among the All-Stars who have also been injured during the playoffs.

The Lakers, who were eliminated from this year’s playoffs in the first round, won the 2020 championship on Oct. 11. The 2021 season began just 71 days later on Dec. 22, marking the shortest offseason for any North American professional sports league champion.

This meant little to no rest for the now 36-year-old James. The solution to James’ problems was “load management,” which is the controversial strategy of resting healthy players during in the regular season.

“We’re going to be as smart as we can be . . . we’re making sure I’m ready to [play],” James said in December, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Obviously every game matters, but we’re competing for something that’s hard. We don’t ever want to short-change our stuff. As for me personally, it’s often a kind of fine line. But understanding with the shortened season . . . the offseason is going to be the shortest offseason for any professional sport ever. We’re very conscientious about what we do going forward as far as me personally.”

Unfortunately, “load management” could only do so much for James. He ended up missing 20 games with a high ankle sprain this season, marking the longest injury absence of his career. Luckily, he was able to recover just in time for the postseason, but he did not seem to be the same LeBron from before the injury.

“Mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally draining. Every team has to deal with it, obviously. But with us and Miami going the long haul in the bubble and then coming right back on short notice to this season, it’s been draining,” James said following the Lakers’ playoff exit to the Phoenix Suns in the first round.

According to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes, the average number of players sidelined per game due to injury or illness this season stands at 5.1. This is the highest injuries per game since 2010 when the NBA first started tracking the stat, and it leaves fans missing out on watching some of their favorite players during the playoffs.

“And I know all about the business side too/factors so don’t even try me! I get it,” James wrote on Twitter.

James also criticized the league last month regarding the NBA play-in tournament — which the Lakers ended up in — saying, “whoever came up with that s–t needs to be fired.”

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