LeBron James to Sit Out Lakers' Preseason Opener vs. Clippers

The Los Angeles Lakers are already feeling the effects of the shortest offseason in NBA history.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis will both sit out the team’s preseason opener against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, head coach Frank Vogel told reporters.

Per Lakers reporter Mike Trudell, Vogel has hinted James and Davis will play limited minutes during the preseason. The Lakers have three preseason games left to play after Friday, one more against the Clippers and two against the Phoenix Suns.

Both James and Davis played 18 minutes each in the Lakers’ preseason opener last year.

James and Davis taking a preseason game off isn’t too surprising, though the question remains how much more time they and other Lakers returnees will have to miss, and how much of that will come in the regular season.

The Lakers (and Miami Heat) are facing a turnaround of only 71 days between Game 6 of the NBA Finals and their season opener on Dec. 22. That represents the shortest offseason in NBA history, and one the team clearly isn’t pleased about.

The situation is especially concerning with LeBron James, who is 35 years old, entering his 18th season in the NBA and is notoriously diligent about keeping his body in top shape.

“Oh, s---,” James said when asked how he reacted to news of the short offseason. “I had to switch up a lot of things once I heard the December 22 start.”

James has chafed at load management in the past, but Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has conceded that a “balancing act” will be required with James’ minutes this year.




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