James and the Cleveland Cavaliers came under fire after he and fellow stars Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving sat out during a nationally televised tilt with the Los Angeles Clippers for rest back on March 18.
According to James, however, this criticism is part of an unfair double standard.
"Listen, [Gregg Popovich] been doing this for 10 years, 12 years, 15 years and everybody was like, 'You know what? That's the smartest thing Pop has ever done,'" James said, according ESPN. "'Give his guys a couple games off and here they go and win five championships. That's the smartest thing.' But some of our coaches in our league don't have the stature that Pop has and our head coach doesn't have it, so he gets killed for it.
"So, I got to keep winning to help my coach be able to have a reason why he can sit his players."
On First Take earlier this week, Bryant revealed why he didn't take games off to recharge his body during his illustrious career—because coaches knew it would have been a fool's errand.
“I’ve never been approached by a coach and asked to rest," the former Los Angeles Lakers star said. "They knew better than that.”
But despite his personal stance on resting for games, the Black Mamba also indicated that LeBron has earned the right to do what he wants.
“When you miss a game, there is that one kid out there who isn’t going to be able to see his favorite player play," Bryant said. "With that being said, LeBron has done so much for the game and he’s earned the opportunity to be able to take a rest, he’s earned that…. He has done so much to elevate the game and has earned the right for us to give him the benefit of the doubt.”