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LeBron James says that if the 2019-20 NBA campaign is able to resume, canceling the remainder of the regular season and simply advancing to the postseason shouldn't be an option.
"One thing you can't just do is go straight to the playoffs," the Los Angeles Lakers star said on Thursday's episode of the "Road Trippin'" podcast. "Because it discredits the 60-plus games that guys had fighting for that position."
When the league suspended play on March 11, three teams - the Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, and New Orleans Pelicans - were 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the Western Conference's eighth seed. All four clubs still had 16-18 games remaining on their regular-season schedules, while other teams were still within striking distance.
Along with those seeding implications, James believes teams will need some time between the resumption of on-court activities and postseason contests.
"I think maybe one-and-a-half, two weeks of a little mini training camp and then 5-10 games to get ready for the playoffs," he said.
James added that while many fans believe the unexpected rest is benefiting players, it may actually be more of a hindrance if play resumes.
"The narrative that I don't like (is), 'Well, now guys get so much rest.' Or, like, 'LeBron, he's 35, he's got so many minutes on his body, now he gets so much rest,'" he said. "It's actually the opposite for me, because my body, when we stopped playing, was asking me, like, 'What the hell are you doing?'
"So my body was like, 'Hey man, what the hell is going on? It's March 13th, you're getting ready for the playoffs, why are you shutting down right now?' And I was right there turning the corner, like, I felt like I was rounding third base, getting ready for the postseason.
"So ... the rest factor - I think it's a little bit overblown. Especially when you're in the full swing of things."