LeBron James confirmed that he will sit out some of the Los Angeles Lakers’ six preseason contests, beginning with Saturday’s road tilt against the Golden State Warriors.
“Six preseason games, so hopefully I can get to at least half of them,” James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin Thursday. “But we’ll see. I think every game will dictate it. I will not be playing in Saturday’s game, that’s for sure, in the Bay.
“But we’ll see after that.”
Saturday’s encounter with the Warriors is the Lakers’ only preseason exhibition on the road, though the two sides will meet again in L.A. on Oct. 13.
Lakers’ preseason schedule
James, who broke the NBA’s all-time scoring record last season, is one of just 10 players in league history to compete in 20 seasons, though he’ll join a more elusive five-man club once he plays in his 21st. However, factoring in a combination of regular-season appearances and playoff contests, he already sits third all-time with 1,703 NBA games played, behind Robert Parish (1,795) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,797).
Complicating matters is the foot tendon injury James sustained last season, which cost him 13 consecutive games between February and March. Though he avoided surgery and returned in time to help the Lakers reach the postseason, he admitted to playing through the pain of a torn tendon while leading L.A. to the Western Conference finals, where the side was swept by the Denver Nuggets.
Though the franchise is playing it safe with the 38-year-old, head coach Darvin Ham said James looks as vigorous in camp as he has in a long time.
“He’s 100 percent healthy,” Ham said Wednesday, courtesy of McMenamin. “He looks fine. He looks like third- or fourth-year LeBron.”
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