James is playing at a high level despite being 34 years old and coming off a groin injury which allowed him to play only 55 games a season ago. He told reporters that he feels an obligation to play every night.
“Why wouldn’t I play if I’m healthy?” James asked rhetorically. “It doesn’t make any sense to me, personally. I mean, I don’t know how many games I’ve left in my career. I don’t know how many kids that may show up to a game that are there to see me play.”
Load management has been a hot-button issue in the NBA this season and James has not been in favor of it. He said in November that he had no plans of missing a game due to load management, according to ESPN.
“If I’m hurt, I don’t play. If not, I’m playing,” James said. “That’s what has always been my motto.”
The Lakers star is averaging 26.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and a league-leading 10.7 assists per game this season. The Lakers are 24-3 and have the best record in the Western Conference.