Los Angeles Lakers: Is LeBron James right about mini training camp before NBA playoffs?

(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

With the sports world on pause, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James shared thoughts about rest and supports the idea of training camp before the playoffs.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has spoken. Despite the overwhelming notion that a halt to the NBA season could help players with aching joints and minor injuries, the 17th-year veteran disagrees with a valid reason. He also proposed a plan if the league returns to action.

Before the coronavirus put a vise-grip on the world, the Lakers won four of their previous five games. Los Angeles lost its last outing to the Brooklyn Nets but holds the No. 1 seed  (49-14) in the Western Conference.

James established a rhythm, which is the main reason why he doesn’t see this rest period as beneficial. He shared his thoughts with the Road Trippin Podcast (h/t SI.com’s Melissa Rohlin).

"“I felt like I was rounding third base, getting ready for the postseason,” James said. “The rest factor is overly blown, especially when you’re in the full swing of things.”"

In other words, the NBA’s hiatus put a stop to James’ flow. On February 27th, he missed a road game against the Golden State Warriors because of a sore groin but averaged 28.2 points per contest over the last six outings.

Based on his recent performances, James’ sore groin didn’t cause any lingering issues, and he seems eager to return with fans in attendance.

The Lakers star suggested teams should have a mini training camp and play multiple games before transitioning into the playoffs.

"“I think maybe one and a half, two weeks of a little mini training camp, and then maybe five to 10 games to get ready for the playoffs,” James said. “If we’re talking about just finishing the regular season, then you don’t need that much. You could do a week of training camp and then get back into it.”"

While many fans may want to jump back into playoff basketball, James proposed passageway back into NBA action makes sense. As he said on the Road Trippin’ Podcast, the rest interrupted his routine. Other players who performed at a high level before the pause on sports probably feel the same way.

Let’s break down James’ train of thought in layman’s terms.

After a long unplanned break from the gym, you don’t usually lift heavy on the first day or week back in the weight room. The body has to adjust to the physical demand. Most athletes say competition shifts into another gear for the postseason.

How can we expect competitors, who don’t have access to facilities, to jump back into intense action without some type of moderate warm-up activity?

The NBA has world-class athletes, but they’re not machines with on and off buttons. If the players adhered to social distancing guidelines, they haven’t played much, if any, actual basketball during the break. All-Star talents don’t forget how to knock down a jump shot, but rust will be a factor if the games resume at some point.

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With a short training camp and two weeks of action, the players can work their way back into game shape and provide a better playoff product.

At 35 years old, with 17 years of wear and tear on his body, James doesn’t embrace the rest, he’s more concerned about preparation. That’s the mindset of a champion.