LeBron plans to be 'uncomfortable in the offseason'
Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James said he wanted to keep playing before being shut down as he looks forward to an "uncomfortable" offseason.
James – who has been dealing with a groin injury – was ruled out for the remainder of the 2018-19 NBA campaign by the Lakers last week.
The decision came after the Lakers were eliminated from the playoff race as their postseason drought continues.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton said James had to be convinced to sit out the season and the three-time NBA champion addressed the decision.
The Lakers announced last weekend they were shutting down the 34-year-old star, who has been dealing with a groin injury, for the rest of the season.
"Of course, I would love to still play, but I've always listened to the ones I trust, no matter if I always agreed with them or not," James told The Athletic.
"They're looking out for my best interest, and that's the way it is."
The Lakers started the season with a 20-14 record before James strained his groin on Christmas Day. He missed the next 17 games and the team never recovered.
With the Lakers out of the playoffs, James' streak of eight consecutive Finals appearances has come to an end, while the 34-year-old has not missed the playoffs since 2004-05.
"I like being uncomfortable in the offseason," James said. "I like being counted out. It motivates me.
"I've had basically the same offseason training regimen the last eight years. I knew how long I wanted to rest for the season on a short timeline. I'm figuring out now how to get as much as I can out of two months of extra time for training. It requires a totally different strategy. We're looking at it in an entirely new way."
James left the Cleveland Cavaliers and signed a four-year, $153.3million contract with the Lakers in July. He will finish his first season in Los Angeles averaging 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists in 55 appearances.