Lakers to Put LeBron James on Minutes Restriction

39;Unless I'm hurt I'm not sitting games,' says James

39;Unless I'm hurt I'm not sitting games,' says James

"These are the Los Angeles Lakers, a culture of championship, pride, purple and gold, Laker Nation!" James, who entered the National Basketball Association at 18 years old compared to 21 for Jordan, began the night averaging 27.1 points in 1,189 games over 16 seasons with Cleveland, Miami and the Lakers.

"It was very emotional", James said. "We're witnessing greatness. It's an honour". Although the lineup scrapped to keep it close, they never managed to get over the hump, even when James entered the game.

But there's still a job to do and 18 games left, starting with tonight's matchup against the Denver Nuggets. "Unless I'm hurt, I'm not sitting games". While the Lakers aired a tribute video during the ensuing timeout, James covered his face with a towel, apparently crying under it.

"For a kid from Akron, Ohio that needed inspiration ... I wanted to look up at the scoreboard to kind of see what was going on up there, but at the same time I didn't want to show what was going on behind that towel".

The 34-year-old James began the night needing 13 points to pass one of his heroes.

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Next on the scoring list is Kobe Bryant, who had 33,643 points in 20 seasons with the Lakers.

Everything went south for the Lakers after a promising start to the season. They were buoyed by James missing his first shot and four free throws in pursuit of history. Tyson Chandler also missed his second straight game with a stiff neck. He would have hit this milestone earlier in the winter, but a midseason groin injury on Christmas sidelined him for 17 games over five weeks - the longest injury absence of his career.

The NBA might not like it, but it makes absolute sense for the Lakers to rest LeBron (and lose as much as possible) moving forward this season.

The Lakers' surprising fourth-quarter rally happened with a lineup including rookie Moe Wagner, who scored 11 points, and Johnathan Williams, who hadn't played for the Lakers since late December. He's averaging 27.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.0 assists this season. Said the Lakers' star.

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