Is This the Reason LeBron James Had a Bad Game?

Superstar athletes: They’re just like us.

Even professional athletes aren’t immune to the effects of overexertion. Case in point: LeBron James. A last minute decision to forgo a needed rest day led to an unusually bad performance by the NBA star.

Image courtesy of Keith Allison

As an ESPN article entitled “Sitting LeBron makes perfect sense” reports, James, who’s played more minutes per game this season than any other NBA player, was “probably” going to get the night off in a recent game against Oklahoma City, the second night of back-to-back games that came on the heels of a four-hour overnight flight. Just before tipoff, it was announced LeBron would play anyway. The move was costly: The Cavaliers lost, James shot 8-for-19 and missed two dunks, “something so uncharacteristic, LeBron hadn’t done it for almost eight years,” ESPN reported.

James’s decision was surprising considering that last year, the Cavalier’s trainer equipped every player with a WHOOP, a biometric tracking device that measures the quantity and quality of players’ sleep as well as their heart rates. Mancias told ESPN that players started to know their own limits, learning how “every hour of sleep proved crucial for their body’s ability to recover and allow heart-rate levels to regulate the next day.”

The result of James’s choice to play proves an important point: Pushing yourself past your limit never pays. Listening to your body is always the smarter choice.

Read more on ESPN.