In mid-June, LeBron James went on a lengthy rant about injuries, claiming the NBA should’ve listened to his message early on. It drew several responses around the league with Shaquille O’Neal being the latest to react to the Los Angeles Laker superstar’s statement.
In an interview with CNBC’s Jessica Golden, O’Neal reminded that athletes are still generously paid at a time when ordinary citizens are losing jobs.
“When you’re living in a world where 40 million people have been laid off and I’m making $200 million, you won’t get no complaining from me. I’d play back to back to back to back to back.”
LeBron James’ title-defense campaign for the Lakers was severely hampered by injuries to himself and co-star Anthony Davis.
In response to James’ criticism, the league was quick to point out the similar number of injuries All-Stars suffered this season compared to 2019-20. Injuries are part of the game. Championship teams aren’t just determined on the court but preparing the bodies of these players for the wear and tear of a lengthy season is just as critical.
In fact, LeBron James should know best as he invests in a ludicrous amount of money every year to keep his body in tip-top shape.
There has been a clamor from the players’ side for the league to trim down the usual 82-game calendar for the regular season. It’s a situation with multiple moving pieces as well as several commitments that need to be taken into consideration.
If anything, the compressed schedule this season could serve as a guide when the NBA makes its decision.