"I would never cheat myself," James told Spectrum SportsNet's Mike Trudell after logging a triple-double in Sunday's win over the Sacramento Kings. "At the end of the day, I know we're out the playoff race. But if I'm on the court, I'm going to play how I play, and I play to win. So, I will never cheat the game."
The King then confirmed his subservience to certain mythical basketball deities.
"There's such a thing called the 'game gods,'" James said. "And they're watching no matter what you're doing, and it's our obligation to go out and be a professional, and that's what I'm about."
The 29-point, 11-rebound, 11-assist effort was the 81st triple-double of James' career and helped the Lakers snap a five-game losing streak. Los Angeles is 12-27 since a Christmas Day victory over the Golden State Warriors and will miss the playoffs for a sixth straight year.
Earlier Sunday, James sent a message to Lakers fans on Instagram, promising "the spell won't last much longer."
It will be James' first playoff-free spring since 2004-05, his second season in the Association.