How LeBron James has been so historically durable

first_img• Out of a possible 1,244 career regular-season games, James has missed just 67 appearances. That’s taking into account his heavy career minutes average (38.6 mpg) as well as 239 career playoff games.• Going into Tuesday night’s game, James had played in 156 straight games including the playoffs. Recall that one of the most dramatic moments of last year’s four-game sweep by the Warriors in the Finals was arguably after it was over: James revealed he had played three games with a broken hand.• In the past eight seasons, James has only missed three or more consecutive games twice. Twice! He has missed a few games the last few seasons for rest and small ailments, but he has not missed significant time since missing eight consecutive games with knee and back injuries in the 2014-15 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.• By comparison to the players in his own draft class, James is well ahead of them all in regular-season games played: Consider Carmelo Anthony (1,064), Zaza Pachulia (1,059) and Dwyane Wade (1,006). They are all more than a full season behind James. The closest contemporary is Kyle Korver, who has played in 1,133 games.James takes great pride in being physically ready to play. By all accounts, he is maniacal about treatment and preparedness. He often stretches in front of the media pregame in the locker room with the help of a trainer. He ices when he needs to, tries to sleep as much as he needs to, is cautious about what he eats. He knows every little advantage he can get on Father Time needs to be taken seriously.So it injured his pride as well when he was too hurt to come back in the game Tuesday night. At the same time, he said he expected the Lakers to find their next man up if he isn’t able to play Thursday, which is starting to look like the case. He didn’t seem to have many long-term worries.Why would he? It’s rarely ever happened before.“With me, with injuries,” he said, “I am never too concerned about them.”MUST-SEE CHRISTMAS TVWere you watching the game last night? If so, you were far from alone: The metered rating was a 6.5, which was the highest-rated Christmas Day game rating since … when LeBron played Golden State in 2015.Only three more meetings left with the Warriors in the regular season. The Lakers feel this is a good start.– Kyle GoonFa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-links Playing for the King – The Lakers were able to muscle past the Warriors despite losing LeBron mid-game.McGee misses his ceremony – The Warriors will push back the center’s ring presentation to February.Measuring up? – Ahead of the game, I took a look at what the significance of playing the Warriors was as the Lakers look to find their way.Social media miscue – LeBron apologized for using an offensive song lyric in an Instagram post.A different kind of Ball game – The New York Times took a look at Lonzo Ball’s second season and how his circumstances have changed.A Game of Zones Christmas – I’m sorry. I just love these silly videos. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“Oh, you telling them about that?”It was a light-hearted moment, but a reminder of the tone-setter in the locker room. Discussing minor injuries is not something LeBron would do.That makes it all the more surprising to see James go down in the middle of the Lakers’ 127-101 victory over the Warriors. To a man, the Lakers said they knew if he could have come back, he would have. He stretched out his injured groin, and he tried to take steps, but he was in clear pain. It wasn’t going to happen.“I’ve never really seen him injured,” Kuzma said. “If he has to go to the locker room you know it’s something serious because he does a hell of a job taking care of his body. You can count on one hand the number of times he’s been hurt.”That’s barely an exaggeration. As we wait for the all-important MRI result, it’s worth remembering how James has earned a reputation as the league’s Iron Man: Editor’s note: This is the Dec. 26 Purple & Bold newsletter. To sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox – go hereA recent scene from the Lakers locker room: After the win over the New Orleans Pelicans last Friday, a reporter asked Kyle Kuzma if he had taken a knock in the game – he had looked stiff at various stretches, and was seen on the bench trying to stretch.Kuzma said his hip had been tight before tip-off, and pretty much stayed tight throughout the game. From across the room, LeBron James piped up to shout over the scrum. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img


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