NBA Responds to LeBron James' Tweets: Injury Rates 'Virtually the Same' as Last Year

Blake SchusterContributor IJune 16, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 3: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on against the Phoenix Suns during Round 1, Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on June 3, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Following a Wednesday Twitter thread where LeBron James blamed a lack of rest and condensed schedule for a rash of injured stars during the playoffs, NBA officials responded by noting the injury rate in 2020-21 remains consistent with previous seasons. 

NBA spokesman Mike Bass offered comment to Marc Stein of the New York Times shortly after James' public remarks. 

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

More from NBA spokesman Mike Bass to @NYTSports on criticism of this season's schedule registered today by LeBron James: <br><br>"While injuries are an unfortunate reality of our game, we recognize the enormous sacrifices NBA players and teams have made to play through this pandemic.”

Wednesday saw even more troubling news on the injury front as the Phoenix Suns placed Chris Paul in health and safety protocol, the Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly worried about Kawhi Leonard's ACL and the Brooklyn Nets continue to list Kyrie Irving on the injury report. 

LeBron James @KingJames

They all didn’t wanna listen to me about the start of the season. I knew exactly what would happen. I only wanted to protect the well being of the players which ultimately is the PRODUCT &amp; BENEFIT of OUR GAME! These injuries isn’t just “PART OF THE GAME”. It’s the lack of PURE

LeBron James @KingJames

works all year round it’s ME! I speak for the health of all our players and I hate to see this many injuries this time of the year. Sorry fans wish you guys were seeing all your fav guys right now. 🙏🏾👑

Following the pandemic-interrupted 2019-20 season, the NBA held its shortest offseason in league history with the 2020 Finals concluding on October 11 and the 2020-21 season beginning on December 22. 

James tweeted that he understands all the business considerations that went into starting the season in December, but didn't believe that to be a good enough reason to not give players more rest. 

The number of injuries has been cause for major concern during the postseason and remains one of the dominant storylines.

In the first round, both James and Anthony Davis were playing through injuries before falling to the Phoenix Suns. Paul himself dealt with a recurring shoulder injury during that series as well. 

In Brooklyn, James Harden has struggled with a hamstring injury while the Denver Nuggets were just swept by the Suns following a season-ending knee injury to guard Jamal Murray toward the end of the regular season. 

Virtually no contender has been spared from the rash of injuries. The NBA just doesn't believe this to be a singular phenomenon—publicly disagreeing with the league's most well-known star on the topic.