LeBron James: Lakers star SLAMMED over decision to ditch pre-season | Other | Sport

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James joined the franchise after a four-year stint back at Cleveland Cavaliers during which he led the Cavs to their first NBA championship.

The power forward has joined an eclectic Lakers roster with a core of creative young players.

The 33-year-old is entering his 16th season in the NBA, seeking a ninth straight finals appearance.

Three-time NBA champion James surprised some fans this week, however, by revealing he doesn’t plan to play any pre-season games.

Some quarters of the media understand James’ position, given the strict demands of an 82-game season.

But FOX Sports broadcaster Skip Bayless believes James’ decision is selfish.

“Do you realise the unprecedented demand for pre-season tickets?” Bayless said on Undisputed.

“And you’re only gonna play five minutes? Do you owe these new fans a little something?

“This is just shameful and closes my case that ‘Hollywood James’ came to Hollywood for, mostly, Hollywood.

“LeBron James wanted to take one year off from the pressure and expectation – and I can’t blame him for that.”

James has busy life off the court, with many business investments and philanthropic ventures.

Bayless questioned James’ priorities, continuing: “Let’s think about what LeBron just did.

“He joined a team with a bunch of kids and a bunch of spare parts. Has he worked with them on the floor?

“Has he worked with them to develop their chemistry in the pre-season? They have not.

“It is clear to me that it’s all about his individual goals this year and not his team goals, because he can’t have any team goals.

“I think he’s ready to make a run at this year’s MVP, but at the expense of his teammates because they don’t matter.

“If you’re hellbent to make this team the best it can be, you should play half of every pre-season game.”

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