LeBron James to Skip Lakers' Exhibition Opener, But Eyes Preseason Court Time

LeBron James, the eminent star of the Los Angeles Lakers, will not be gracing the court in the exhibition opener against the Golden State Warriors this Saturday.

by Faruk Imamovic
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LeBron James to Skip Lakers' Exhibition Opener, But Eyes Preseason Court Time
© Getty Images Sport/Ronald Martinez

LeBron James, the eminent star of the Los Angeles Lakers, will not be gracing the court in the exhibition opener against the Golden State Warriors this Saturday. However, fans have reason to stay optimistic, as James indicates a plan to partake significantly in the preseason matches.

James' Stance on Preseason Play

"Six preseason games, so hopefully I can get to at least half of them," expressed James post-practice on Thursday. "Every game will determine my participation. Saturday's game in the Bay is off the table for me, but subsequent games are up in the air." The Lakers' superstar, who will celebrate his 39th birthday this December, is a venerable presence in the NBA.

Despite being the oldest active player, James' passion and prowess remain unmatched. However, he faced a significant setback last season when he had to sit out 27 games due to a severe right foot injury. The player himself shed light on the extent of the injury recently, mentioning he "pretty much tore the whole tendon." Despite the alarming nature of such an injury, James' recent training camp performances are a testament to his resilience.

The reviews have been overwhelmingly optimistic.

Coaches Confident in James' Recovery

Lakers coach Darvin Ham radiated confidence when speaking about James' recovery. "He's without question regained his momentum and is fully recovered," Ham articulated.

Drawing a nostalgic comparison, he added, "He looks like third- or fourth-year LeBron." The coach underscored the importance of collaboration and communication when planning James' steps moving forward. Highlighting James' assets, Ham mentioned, "Firstly, he's in spectacular shape.

Secondly, with the exception of Anthony Davis, his years of experience surpass that of the entire team combined in terms of games and minutes played. Above all, he takes unparalleled care of himself." With the preseason schedule continuing in Las Vegas against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, the strategy for James is to ease into the games.

"Given our current roster," Ham explained, "LeBron doesn't need to start the season as the superhero. The robust support he has on the team ensures he doesn't need to push himself to the limit in every practice and preseason match."

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