The Los Angeles Lakers have announced that LeBron James will be out of the lineup for Friday night’s game in Detroit, due to “load management.”

The news really shouldn’t come as a surprise, as it is the second game of a back-to-back and the team had already agreed to rest LeBron in such games as the Lakers’ regular season winds down. 

As a result of Thursday night’s 111-98 loss to the Toronto Raptors, LeBron and the Lakers are now 31-37 for the season. With 14 games remaining in the regular season, LA is eight games back of the eighth seeded Clippers – in other words, they’re just waiting to be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. 

LeBron, 34, is averaging 27.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8 assists in 50 games this season. He was also averaging the seventh most minutes per game with 35.6 minutes per, before the Lakers decided to limit his minutes down the final stretch of games.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

LeBron hasn’t missed the playoffs since the 2004-05 season, so he might be looking for ways to spend all of that free time in late April, May and June, when he’s not busy filming movies and tv shows, of course.

One option on the table: join the NBA on TNT “Inside The NBA” team.

On last Thursday’s episode of “Inside The NBA,” Charles Barkley jokingly invited the four-time NBA MVP to join the crew for their playoff coverage.