NBA star LeBron James weighed in on the load management conversation in the league as star players continue to sit out regular-season games to conserve their bodies, saying that he is always going to play if he is healthy enough to take the court. And while LeBron understands each player has to listen to their body in order to be healthy for the duration of the season, he sees another big issue that leads to players’ bodies breaking down.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports, LeBron discussed how players are entering the league with wear and tear on their body and part of the problem in his mind is AAU culture.
LeBron discussed the grueling schedules that young players — like his sons LeBron Jr. and Bryce — go through when they are playing on the AAU circuit. That led to LeBron blasting the AAU culture and the coaches lack of concern for their players’ health.
“These kids are going into the league already banged up, and I think parents and coaches need to know [that], well, AAU coaches don’t give a f*ck,” James said in an interview with Yahoo Sports. “AAU coaches couldn’t give a damn about a kid and what his body is going through.
“I think [AAU] has something to do with it, for sure. It was a few tournaments where my kids — Bronny and Bryce — had five games in one day and that’s just f—ing out of control. That’s just too much.”
LeBron does have a point.
When AAU tournaments take place, the players’ schedules are packed for an entire weekend and they also have to account for travel time. The exhaustion and fatigue are hard to escape, especially at a time in their young careers where they have not fully taken on appropriate weight training or nutrition. But will LeBron do anything to help change the AAU culture? We’ll just have to wait and see.