The saga continues.
Nearly a week after Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh said that he hadn’t spoken to LeBron James since the King’s departure in Miami, Bosh commented that he thought LeBron looked out of shape and a step slower than usual according to the Miami Herald’s Joseph Goodman:
BOSH on LeBron: “He’s not all the way in shape yet. You can tell. He doesn’t have his game legs back. He’s a lot quicker and a lot faster.”
— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) October 13, 2014
Given the fact that it’s only been two games into the preseason and most players don’t get their legs under them until a couple weeks into the regular season, there should be no real cause for concern here.
However, after watching LeBron’s out-of-character performance in Rio de Janeiro against the Heat, Bosh’s comments do hold some merit. On Saturday, James went an inefficient 2-8 from the field and had three turnovers, which begs the question: are we going to start seeing the decline of James’ athleticism beginning this year? After all, James does turn 30 in December and Head Coach David Blatt has already stated several times that he will be putting LeBron on a sort of “maintenance” program this season to preserve him for the playoffs.
LeBron’s maintenance plan looks to begin this week as he is likely to sit out one of the back-to-back games, either against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday or the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.
“I haven’t figured it out,” James said. “I’ll talk to Coach (David Blatt) and go from there.”
If you haven’t heard, James has been dealing with some back issues of late, but assures fans that he’s feeling healthier and his back is improving.
“I’ve been managing it pretty good,” he said. “I feel pretty good right now and I want to continue that.”
Although the absence of James will upset some fans who pay good money to watch the prodigal son put on a show, Coach Blatt is already showing why he was recruited to coach a team of highly skilled all-stars and big egos by playing it safe and looking at the season as a “marathon” rather than a “sprint,” similar to a style of preservation incorporated by the San Antonio Spurs’ Greg Popovich.