LeBron James had a message for his new coach, Luke Walton, after the Los Angeles Lakers’ shootaround Thursday morning: He doesn’t want to rest.
“I’m always fresh,” James said in advance of the team’s season opener in Portland, per ESPN. “All my coaches want to figure out a way of how to lessen my minutes. I keep telling them I’m strong enough to play most minutes.”
James, who turns 34 in December, is entering his 16th NBA season. Walton said earlier this week that James would see a “reasonable” amount of court time for the Lakers. Last year, with Cleveland, he led the NBA with 36.9 minutes per game.
“LeBron will play a lot of minutes, yes,” Walton said Thursday. “It will be a consistent theme for us this year.”
Walton said James isn’t showing signs of slowing down.
“I told him ... that his legs seem to be getting younger as training camp goes on,” Walton said. “It normally works the other way. But he’s jumping higher, he’s moving quicker the more we get out there and play. So it’s like I said: There’s one game tonight. We’re obviously excited to be playing regular-season games now, but he looks very good.”
The Lakers aren’t thought to have much of a chance to surpass Golden State or Houston in the NBA’s Western Conference. Still, James said he is looking for a fourth NBA championship ring.
“It’s just my goal. It’s always been my goal ... maybe the last 10 or 11 years where I felt like it’s championships,” James said. “I want to win championships, and putting my mind into that and thinking about it. I think when you have championship habits, you have championship thoughts, and things come into fruition.
“Obviously there’s only one champion at the end of the road, and you can’t dictate wins and losses, things of that nature, but you can approach every day like a champion. And if you do that, you put yourself in a position to be successful. Either individually or as a team, or whatever the case is.”
—Field Level Media