Heading into the All-Star break, the Los Angeles Lakers have to feel pretty good about where they are given the obstacles they faced when the 2020-21 season began.
The short layoff between their title run and the start of the season coupled with the roster turnover put them at a natural disadvantage compared to the rest of the league. Also, Anthony Davis suffered a calf injury that will likely sideline him until at least mid-March.
Despite those factors, LeBron James has powered Los Angeles to a respectable record and established himself as one of the frontrunners for MVP. Even at 36 years old, James has been determined to play in each game which has only strengthened his case for the award.
However, after a loss to the Phoenix Suns head coach Frank Vogel and Los Angeles decided that James would miss the game against the Sacramento Kings.
“We’ve had a mindset to encourage him to take a game off if needed and support him if he wants to be in there,” Vogel said. “He’s always said if his body feels good, he wants to play. He’s pretty banged up right now with the soreness in the ankle and we took this opportunity to keep him home this game.
This was the first game that James has missed this season, but the timing made sense as their tilt against the Kings was on the second half of a back-to-back set. He sprained his ankle on Opening Night and has been managing it since, but finally getting a night off should only help in the long run.
James is still set to play in the 2020-21 NBA All-Star Game but should be much more refreshed when the second half of the year tips off.
Frank Vogel unsure if LeBron James dealing with groin issue
Aside from a sprained ankle, James has also been nagged by a sore groin but Vogel admitted he is unsure of that is still an issue for him.
“I would have to check with the medical team on that,” Vogel said. “I have not had that reported to me that that’s still an issue. Obviously, all his training on a daily basis and physical therapy and all that stuff is centered around strength training in those areas to minimize that being a problem, but that has not been reported to me as being a problem this year.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!