LeBron James will skip preseason opener against Atlanta Hawks
During the media open day, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra speculated that the team was aiming for something more than a repeat of their NBA championship this season. (Hint: legacy).
However, the Miami Heat are taking a cautious approach this season to avoid injuries on the roster and maintain full health of their key pieces such as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
In light of that decision, Miami Heat forward LeBron James will sit out the preseason opener against Atlanta Hawks on 7th October to ease his way through the start of the season.
"I don't even know if I'll play much at all in that game," LeBron James said regarding Miami Heats’ game against the Atlanta Falcons, following Sunday’s practice.
Miami Heat will then immediately report to China to play the Los Angeles Clippers in two exhibition games. The Miami Heat don’t play their regular-season opener against Boston Celtics until 30th October.
LeBron James was still more confident that he’ll still be up and about in full form when the Miami Heat stand to defend their championship title latter in the season. LeBron James jokingly added that he has been in-form for basketball “for about 18" straight months now. That journey started in December with the opening of the lockout-shortened NBA season, and included Miami Heat’s playoffs finals victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder at the end of June. But just two weeks later, LeBron James had hoped to the London scene with the start of Team USA’s Olympics training camp.
"I'm in better shape right now than I've been, because I've played so much basketball,” stated LeBron James. “Usually, it takes me a week, a week-and-a-half of camp to kind of get back into it. But at the same time, I've still got to be cautious.”
The Miami Heat are laying easy on practices to allow their players some rest, switching between single practice sessions and two-workout sessions per day format this week. Just as Erik Spoelstra carefully monitored LeBron James minutes last season (until mid postseason, which resulted in a career-low 37.5 minutes), he has been keeping an eye out during the workouts.
However, it’s a challenge for LeBron James, who has felt himself improve during the non-stop basketball season and is ready to jump in every competitive team workout.
"Even though sometimes I want to be out there, they'll hold me back," stated LeBron James. "And I've got to try to hold myself back from being out there for a lot of our drills and games.”
But let’s not forget that the 27-year-old is in currently the best shape of his career and is often compared with the best in the NBA. Some have even speculated that LeBron James will last till long in the NBA, while other have already slated him for greatness as the future Hall of Fame.
This being my 10th year, I know kind of how to monitor and keep building throughout the months of the season,” said LeBron James.” I've always gotten stronger throughout the months.”
During nine seasons in NBA, LeBron James has skipped only seven games.