LeBron James won't shut down phone during NBA's restart

Written By SJ Lynn
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(Getty Images)

LeBron James will be skipping his "Zero Dark Thirty-23" mode this year during the NBA playoffs.

The Lakers star normally leaves social media during the postseason to maximize his focus, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, James said his self-imposed ritual will change.

"I won't be turning my phone off during this run. I can't afford to. I have to continue to check in with my family every single day," James said Tuesday, per ESPN. "Making sure everything is still going well, especially in the uncertainty of what 2020 has brought to all of us. So I can't afford to do that, just lose direct contact with everybody."

MORE: What happens if an NBA player leaves the bubble?

From ESPN:

In past years, James would curtail the time he spent on Twitter and Instagram in April through June to sharpen his focus. But during those playoff runs, he had the balance of playing home and away, flying back from road arenas to spend time with his wife, Savannah; mother, Gloria; and three children, Bronny, Bryce and Zhuri.

James specifically cited his mom as someone he will "check in" with.

James said social media provides him with a way to keep up with his family. If the Lakers make it to the NBA finals, James could be in the Orlando "bubble" for three and a half months — the longest he's ever been apart from his wife and kids.

The NBA returns on Thursday after suspending the season on March 11.

James' Lakers were leading the Western Conference and the Milwaukee Buck were on top of the NBA standings.

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