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LeBron James slams the NBA's compressed schedule amid a slew of playoff injuries

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LeBron James on the court for the 2020 NBA Finals.
LeBron James. Mark J. Terrill/AP Images
  • LeBron James blamed the compressed NBA schedule for several injuries to star players.

  • The NBA completed last season in October, began this one in December, and will finish in July.

  • James said he understood the benefits, but tried to warn that it would hurt players in the long run.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

LeBron James slammed the compressed NBA schedule amid a slew of injuries to some of the league's biggest stars.

The NBA had its shortest offseason ever in 2020, finishing the NBA Finals in the Disney World bubble on October 11, then beginning the 2020-21 regular season on December 22. Training camps started in early December.

James tweeted on Wednesday that he tried to warn the league (presumably the NBA's Board of Governors and Players Association) that such a short offseason would have implications.

"They all didn't wanna listen to me about the start of the season," James said in a series of tweets. "I knew exactly what would happen. I only wanted to protect the well being of the players which ultimately is the PRODUCT & BENEFIT of OUR GAME! These injuries isn't just 'PART OF THE GAME.' It's the lack of PURE RIM REST before starting back up."

On Wednesday, it was reported that Kawhi Leonard would miss Game 5 of the second round of the playoffs with a knee sprain. His injury comes days after Kyrie Irving was ruled out with an ankle sprain he suffered in the second round.

Additionally, players like James Harden, Anthony Davis, and Mike Conley missed time during the playoffs with injuries. It's been reported that Joel Embiid is playing through a small meniscus tear in his knee.

"This is the best time of the year for our league and fans but missing a ton of our fav players," James tweeted. "It's insane."

James played through an ankle injury he suffered in March in the Los Angeles Lakers' first-round playoff loss to the Phoenix Suns and clearly wasn't himself. Subsequently, he lost in the first round for the first time in his career.

A groin injury knocked Davis out of Games 4 and 5 early and entirely for Game 6 when the Suns eliminated the Lakers.

James and the Lakers felt the strain of the compressed season as much as any team after winning last season's championship, then tipping off the season on December 22.

During negotiations between the league and players about formatting the 2020-21 season, The Athletic's Shams Charania had said that James was among several stars who felt it would be too quick of a turn-around from one season to the next.

Former Lakers guard Danny Green had said on a podcast with The Ringer in November that he didn't expect to see James show up on time for training camp.

"If there's one person that know about the body and how it works all year round it's ME!" James tweeted. "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."

The NBA faced a difficult time crunch in creating this season's schedule. After suffering huge losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic and fan-less postseason in 2020, it was estimated that the NBA could make up to $1 billion by starting the season in December and keeping its Christmas showcase of games.

Furthermore, the NBA also had to complete this season before the start of the Tokyo Olympics. Wrapping in time for the Olympics would also allow the NBA to resume its typical calendar year by starting the 2021-22 season in October.

And it was no coincidence that the NBA decided on 72 games in the '20-21 season - that number allowed several teams to satisfy local TV deals.

Not that any of this was a surprise to James.

"And I know all about the business side too/factors so don't even try me! I get it," James tweeted.

James' tweets can be seen below:

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