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LeBron sits out Heat’s preseason game vs. Spurs

Oct 19, 2013, 11:00 PM EDT

LeBron James AP

The last time the Heat and the Spurs played in Miami, it was Game 7 of the NBA Finals last June, in a contest that meant the world to each respective franchise.

When they met again for the first time since then in a preseason contest in Miami on Saturday, the game meant absolutely nothing. Which might explain why, after playing in each of his team’s first five exhibition games, LeBron James decided to sit this one out.

From Michael Wallace of

James said the decision to sit was part of the team’s “maintenance” process. Heat teammate Dwyane Wade played Saturday, but has skipped three preseason games.

“No, no injuries — just not suiting up,” James said. “It’s OK for LeBron to take one off.”

James also plans to miss the Heat’s final preseason game Friday at home against the Nets.

If LeBron says it’s OK for LeBron to take the night off, then who are we to argue?

In all seriousness, there’s nothing to be gained by James suiting up for every single preseason matchup. The team returned its core players from a season ago, so there aren’t any new faces the reigning MVP needs to get accustomed to playing with — unless you’re counting a reserve like Michael Beasley, which would be silly.

James will be in the lineup one more time in the preseason against the Pelicans this Wednesday, before shutting it down to prepare for opening night against the Chicago Bulls on October 29.

  1. 00maltliquor - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    Payback for Pop leaving Miami fans high and dry -Tim, Tony and Manu last year since you don’t get fined for that kind of stuff in the preseason??

    • antistratfordian - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:22 AM

      The Heat already got them back for that last year – and in the worst way – because they sat Wade and LeBron for their lone regular season visit to San Antonio and they still won the game.

      • savvybynature - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:58 AM

        Except I don’t think that game had any effect whatsoever on either team in terms of seeding or anything else.
        Believe me, that meaningless loss in March is not the one the Spurs are lamenting.

  2. antistratfordian - Oct 20, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    LeBron didn’t play against the Spurs last preseason either.

    Not that it matters, but the Spurs got curb stomped. I don’t think San Antonio wanted to be back in Miami so soon. Wade was all over the place.

    • savvybynature - Oct 20, 2013 at 1:00 AM

      Pop would never give away any real strategy to a possible playoff foe in a meaningless preseason game.
      He had his team sit in a soft zone all night. Wade probably hasn’t seen a defense that welcoming since AAU ball.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 20, 2013 at 1:57 AM

        Well it is only the preseason. But half of Wade’s makes were jumpers on that zone, which is encouraging for him.

        “But if we’re going to look eight months ahead to a potential Finals rematch, Miami had to be heartened by the bounce in Dwyane Wade’s step. At one point he froze Tim Duncan in his tracks with a patented Euro Step layup, accounting for two of his 25 points in 26 minutes.

        Combined with 17 points in 26 for Chris Bosh, it seems safe to say, even at such an early juncture, that the biggest factor in Miami’s quest for a third straight championship is the health of its superstars.”

        –Dan McCarney, Spurs Nation,

        The Spurs probably would’ve been torched either way – they just looked like they didn’t even want to be there – except for maybe Leonard.

  3. savvybynature - Oct 20, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    Any word on how much the Heat will be fined? Lebron admitted he wasn’t injured, and the press only got one hour of notice that he wasn’t gonna play — far less than the four hours they got when the Spurs rested their starters last season.

    I get that it’s preseason, but the tickets still aren’t free. I thought the whole thing was the league was outraged on behalf of the poor fans who didn’t get to see their favorite player? Maybe some hack Miami lawyer looking for free publicity will sue Spoelstra over it.

    • asimonetti88 - Oct 20, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      It’s preseason. If you buy tickets to a preseason game, you should expect starters to barely play if they even play at all.

    • miamatt - Oct 21, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      The league was outraged on behalf of TNT, who payed hundreds of millions for the rights to broadcast games to national audiences. If it was local TV only, it would have been a non-issue.

  4. 1972wasalongtimeago - Oct 20, 2013 at 7:16 AM

    I didn’t watch the game either.

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