Many were excited to see what LeBron James would come up with for an encore after his unbelievable 56-point performance against the Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately for James and the Los Angeles Lakers, he would ultimately be ruled out for the Lakers’ contest against the San Antonio Spurs due to knee soreness.
LeBron’s knee has been an issue for much of the season and he has said previously that it is something that will linger for the rest of the year. Sitting out this game was proof of that and Lakers head coach Frank Vogel outlined why the decision was made for James not to suit up.
“Obviously, we’ve been talking about the every other day schedule. He typically has some soreness in the knee the day after the game that subsides by the next game,” Vogel said ahead of the Lakers’ contest against the Spurs. “When we got here to San Antonio, throughout the day, the soreness today was still significant enough for us to hold him out.
“With the heavy load that he’s carrying for us this year, we know that it’s always a possibility. That’s why we continue to list him as questionable to see how it’s responding over the 48 hours between games and this is just one of those days where like I said, it was significant enough to hold him out.”
Vogel and the Lakers simply won’t take a chance when it comes to health issues especially, as he said, considering the load that James carries for this team. With Anthony Davis also still out, so much falls onto LeBron’s plate and trying to push through knee issues would likely only make them worse.
The Lakers did fight hard against the Spurs, but ultimately came up short in the end. With the team taking a short trip to Houston for their next contest, Vogel thinks there is a good chance LeBron is back in uniform then.
“We’re hopeful that he’ll play in Houston, yes,” the Lakers head coach added.
But Vogel also made it clear that regardless of the Lakers’ situation and the fight for playoffs coming down to the wire, health will always be the most important thing when it comes to James.
“His health takes precedent over any matchup, any individual one game for sure,” Vogel said. “I think the simplest way to put it is he’s going to plan on being in unless his knee tells him otherwise. I don’t know if we can really forecast any more clearly than that.”
James talks what has gone into his longevity
The fact that LeBron has been so good in his 19th season is truly a testament to the work he puts in off the court. There has never been a player who has displayed this level of longevity at this level the way James has and he discussed some of the reasons he has been able to do so following his performance against the Warriors.
“The No. 1 thing is sleep, rest,” James said. “Obviously I’ll be able to sleep better tonight then I’ve done over the last few games. That’s just human nature, you have your mind racing and racing and racing on what can you do to help the team get a win, figuring out ways you can be better.
“But I get optimal sleep and in between days I try to get a nap in as well, a couple hours, but also just always in the treatment room, in the cold tubs icing down, stretching, eating right, putting the right food in my body, the right fuel to be able to play a game less than 48 hours later.
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