'Load Management' in the NBA is quite a common theme among franchises. Everyone wants to keep their key players in optimal condition for the crunch games later in the season. However, 'load management' recently got a lot of negative attention after Kawhi Leonard sat out LA Clippers' blockbuster clash against the Milwaukee Bucks (back in early November).
No load management days in Year 17 for LeBron 😤 pic.twitter.com/oL29ERpY3m— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 16, 2019
Kawhi Leonard is the prime example of players being managed for load and stress. He played only 60 games in the regular season last campaign but starred during the playoffs to lead the Toronto Raptors to the NBA Championship. He was also named the NBA Finals MVP. This season, he has already missed two games in consecutive weeks for the Clippers, one of them being against the aforementioned Bucks on November 7. The Clippers lost the game 129-124 and thereby denied their fans of an early Kawhi Leonard - Giannis Antetokoumpo match up.
LeBron doesn’t believe in load management— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) December 16, 2019
“I don’t know how many games i got left in my career. I don’t know how many kids that may show up to a game that are there to come see me play” 👑 pic.twitter.com/ASDwC9vuFB
While Leonard is not the only player to sit out matches, LeBron James apparently has a completely different theory on load management. According to James, "he's going to play if he is healthy." James refused to comment on Leonard's issue with missing games. However, he insisted that the concept of load management is beyond his understanding. James believed that he is always ready to go. He is always ready for back-to-back matches and he is always ready for a long trip on the road for different games.
LeBron James (34) wants to play every game possible as he believes his career could come to an abrupt end any time in the future. LeBron James, who has seen a fair share of criticism, might just understand the backlash Kawhi Leonard is receiving from the supporters. But for now, LeBron James seems intent on playing as much as possible.
LeBron James has missed just one game for the Lakers playing 26 times so far. He has been starring for the Lakers having forged a strong partnership with Anthony Davis. The Lakers comfortably sit on top of the Western Conference with a 24-3 (win-loss record). They beat the Atlanta Hawks 101-96 on Sunday night, with James recording 32 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists.