According to LeBron James, Fergie’s hit song said it best: “Oh s—.”
While the champagne was still drying on the 2020 NBA championship, James wasn’t happy a month ago when he discovered that this NBA offseason would be the shortest in sports history, choosing to respond to the start date with a single emoji.
Well, James’ feelings about the season start have not changed: In a teleconference with reporters on Monday, James said that he was taken aback by the start of the 2020-21 NBA season, going so far as having to cancel vacation plans with his family.
“I was like, ‘Wow!’ And I said, ‘Oh s—,'” James said on Monday, via the LA Times. “Being completely honest, I wasn’t expecting that because the early conversations that were going on, I was hearing it would kind of be a mid-January start and training camp would kind of start after Christmas — we would have an opportunity to spend Christmas with our families.
“So, I had already planned a vacation with my family, which I haven’t been able to do obviously since I’ve been in the league. So, I had to switch up a lot of things when I heard the Dec. 22 start and with training camp starting obviously this week.”
The Lakers are still pretty fresh off a championship win in a truncated NBA season that ended on Oct. 11. No one has played more minutes than James since entering the league, given playoff and Finals appearances. To that end, it sounds like the Lakers will be extra cautious with how to deploy James at the start of the 72-game season.
“We’re going to be as smart as we can be … we’re making sure I’m ready,” James said. “… As for me personally, it’s often a kind of fine line. But understanding with the shortened season — the offseason is going to be the shortest offseason for any professional sport ever. We’re very conscientious about what we do going forward as far as me personally.”
LeBron and the reigning champion Lakers kick off their title defense Dec. 22 vs. the Clippers.
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