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#pounditMonday, December 6, 2021

LeBron James plays hypocrite with complaint about NBA schedule

LeBron James

LeBron James once again played the role of a hypocrite with his comments ripping the NBA on Wednesday over the 2020-2021 schedule.

James’ Los Angeles Lakers lost in the first round of the playoffs the season after winning the championship. James’ Lakers played until October last year due to the odd coronavirus-altered season. James was against the next season beginning so soon thereafter, because it would give his Lakers limited time to recover from their championship run.

Fast forward to June, and the league was able to play a 72-game regular season and is now in the conference semifinals. Several top players have incurred injuries, including Kawhi Leonard. James believes his fears over a shortened offseason have been realized in the form of injuries.

James is likely correct that the limited offseason and unusual schedule from last season to this season has thrown off players and led to more injuries. That outcome was probably to be expected.

However, James is trying to play both sides. He relishes being able to now say “told you so.” But what did he do to prevent the shortened season? Did he offer to take a pay cut to have a shortened season that began later? Did he talk with his buddy Chris Paul, the players union president, about how it was more important to protect the health of players than start the season in December, and that they should all give back 25 percent of their salaries to achieve this?

James, you may recall, is the same guy who insisted the NBA return to a bubble last season rather than face financial consequences of not completing the season. His peers knew he was in charge. He’s the same guy who chose money over stopping the postseason following the Bucks’ protests.

His stance is extremely selfish. There were plenty of players and teams who did not even make it to the bubble. Half the league failed to qualify for the restart and playoffs. Those players all had extended breaks and were eager to return. They had no reason to wait so long for the following season.

If the top NBA players, and the most powerful voice in the league were so insistent about not playing, they would have said so with their wallets. But they didn’t. They and their union agreed to a schedule they could have said no to.

Until James offers to give back money in order to have more rest, his tweets are not worth the digital space they take up.

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