LeBron James Blasts NBA Following Outbreak of Injuries to Star Players

LeBron James has blasted the NBA for ignoring his warnings that a particularly short offseason would lead to a spate of injuries around the league.

James’s comments came after Kawhi Leonard was ruled out indefinitely with a possible ACL injury, making him the eighth All-Star to miss a playoff game this year, the most in league history according to Elias Sports.

Chris Paul, who could miss the start of the Western Conference finals after being placed in the league’s health and safety protocols, may well become the ninth, joining Anthony Davis, James Harden, Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving, Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley and Jaylen Brown.

Here’s what LeBron had to say:

And these are James’s comments from early December, as told to the Los Angeles Times, when asked about the NBA’s fast-tracked start to the 2020-21 season:

“I was like, ‘Wow.’ And I said, ‘Oh, s—,’. Just being completely honest, I wasn’t expecting that because early conversations were going on and I was hearing that there would be kind of a mid-January start and training camp would kind of start after Christmas.”

NBA spokesman Mike Bass has since responded to James’s most recent comments in a statement.

“Injury rates were virtually the same this season as they were during the 2019-20 season while starter-level and All-Star players missed games due to injury at similar rates as the last three seasons. While injuries are an unfortunate reality of our game, we recognize the enormous sacrifices NBA players and teams have made to play through this pandemic.”

With last season’s Finals concluding on October 11 and this season beginning on December 22, James, Davis and everyone who played in the 2020 Finals had an especially short 71-day offseason.

Kawhi Leonard, who was famously eliminated in the second round last season, still only had 86 days to rest between being knocked out of the playoffs and suiting up in the following preseason.

In stark contrast, the average NBA offseason runs for just over 155 days.