LeBron James Makes His Displeasure Known over Start Date
The NBPA may have approved the December 22 season start date, but make no mistake about how the players feel. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James made his feelings known with a not-so-criptic post on his instagram story.
LeBron James posted an image detailing the shortest offseasons in US elite sport history. At 71 days, this NBA offseason is by far the shortest. The next shortest offseason was in the NHL in 2013, with a break of 99 days.
The Lakers won the championship on October 11. This gives them a two month break before the season starts again. Those two months are half the time NBA players traditionally get to prepare for a new season.
Want $250 to bet on NBA futures?
Two weeks ago, LeBron’s teammate Danny Green said that the Lakers’ veterans may sit out the start of the season.
“If we start in December, I think most guys [are like] ‘I’m not going to be there… to have that quick of a restart, I wouldn’t expect [LeBron] to be there for the 1st month of the season.”
Green has since backtracked majorly, saying that he was ‘joking’ and quoted out of context. That looks increasingly like he was instructed to do so following the push to approve the earlier start date.
Even the fact that LeBron James implied his dissatisfaction with an image rather than explicitly state it speaks to a desire from within the league to appear unified over the decision.
The financial impact of starting the NBA season before Christmas is worth an additional $1billion to the league. After Covid-19 wiped out the earning power of the NBA, the monetary considerations were always going to be hard to ignore.
LeBron is 36 years old and entering his 18th season in the NBA.