LeBron sitting out final preseason game an easy call

LeBron sitting out final preseason game an easy call

Published Oct. 22, 2014 2:00 p.m. ET

Part of the reason LeBron James isn't playing in Wednesday night's Cleveland Cavaliers preseason finale in Memphis is because he's LeBron James and he doesn't want to.

He doesn't need to.

Next week, the Cavs start an 82-game marathon that's basically an appetizer for the games that will really be remembered. And though James has tried to temper those "championship or bust" expectations, championships aren't won until the late spring and early summer.

In Northeast Ohio, as James wrote last summer, nothing is given, everything is earned, and there are still leaves on the trees. It's still fall.


It's just not worth the risk in October.

"It's over for the preseason as far as how we progressed." James said after Monday night's preseason game in Columbus. "I think every practice, every film session, every game will continue to help our chemistry, help us continue to improve, know what we like, dislike out on the floor."

That matches what he's said all along, and two other things he said after that game.

No. 1: "We will be ready for the 30th," which is next week's season opener vs. the New York Knicks.

No. 2: "It's a long season."

A very long season.

James turns 30 during that season. He's been in a lot of these marathon seasons, the last four of which have gone deep into June and the NBA Finals.

Before that game Monday vs. the Chicago Bulls in Columbus, James was asked what he hoped to get out of the preseason.

"Get out healthy, knock on wood," he said.

Then, he stopped. He reached down and actually knocked on the hardwood floor.

"Just get out healthy, get some conditioning, get some timing and some rhythm with my teammates, all of us together," he then said.

A little was enough. It's only the preseason. There are a whole bunch of games -- maybe more than 100 -- ahead.

Knock on wood.