ESPN.com had an interesting piece a few days ago about LeBron James and how he's been able to conserve energy while logging heavy minutes in the NBA playoffs.
The upshot: He spends more time walking instead of running than almost every other NBA player, and he flat-out takes plays off.
It's hard to argue with the results. James, who is 33 and somehow in his 15th NBA season, is playing a whopping 41.4 minutes per game while averaging 34 points and nine assists for the Cavaliers this postseason.
But it stands in contrast to how we choose to view other athletes who admit they take plays off.
Exhibit A: Randy Moss in 2001 uttered the infamous quote to our own Sid Hartman, "I play when I want to play" and was crushed for it.
While LeBron's slacking might be more about rest while Moss' was more about game situations, in both cases there is an acknowledgment that some moments are bigger than others.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.