LeBron James Unhappy With How Lakers Managed His Minutes

The Lakers’ decision to limit LeBron James’ minutes at the start of the season didn’t last long, and now we know why.

According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, James “bristled at the idea of restricting his minutes”.

His playing time was under the spotlight when he logged just 29 minutes in the Lakers’ season-opening loss to the Denver Nuggets.

James’ time on the bench that night included some critical fourth-quarter minutes. The Lakers were outscored 7-0 during one fourth-quarter stretch when James was on the bench, as a four-point Denver lead grew to 11 and the game started to slip away.

After the game, Ham was asked whether he would persist with the minutes restriction.

“We’ll see. In all likelihood, yes,” Ham said. “It’s easy with him to get caught up in the emotion of the game and you tend to forget you want to play these long stretches, but in order for him to be as effective as possible, we have to be mindful of the minute output and how long his stretches are.”


In the Lakers’ next game, James played 35 minutes, including the whole fourth quarter in a 100-95 win over the Phoenix Suns. It was clear James had got his way, and it hadn’t taken long at all.

After the game, James said playing the extra minutes was an “easy” call to make.

Ham has since been fired by the Lakers. He was relieved of his duties just four days after the Lakers were eliminated by the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs.

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