The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the L.A. Clippers 114-100 on Wednesday, but really the story of the night concerned LeBron James.
James had one of his best outings in a while, scoring 30 points on the evening on an efficient 12-of-22 from the field. However, he exited midway through the fourth quarter and did not return to the game.
The 37-year-old seemed to be pointing toward his groin, though the team ruled it as “left leg soreness.” After the game, James clarified that it was indeed his groin and recalled when the injury occurred, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I feel good besides the injury,” James said. “Get pictures on it tomorrow and go from there, but can’t do anything. When I landed I felt a little spasm or strain in my groin, so immediately asked to come out after the next play down and went to the locker room.”
James added that it’s not as bad as the groin injury he sustained in 2018-19, but it’s still concerning going forward. He did say however that he is hoping to be able to play Friday night against the Brooklyn Nets:
“Im gonna go around [the clock] treatment for 24 hours and the day on Friday and hopefully I’ll be in the lineup. It’s not an issue.”
Head coach Darvin Ham did not dwell too much on James potentially missing time and instead emphasized that the rest of the team would need to step up were he to miss games:
“If he has to sit a game or a few games, guys just got to be ready to play and compete. Can’t feel sorry for yourself. These games are coming at a rapid pace. For us to hang our heads or whatever, that can spill over to more games being lost. It’s not really wins and losses and I know it matters – absolutely that’s not lost on me. It’s the way we approach the game – our attitude, our energy going in the game, sustaining that, sustaining the competitive spirit. There’s going to be ups and down, there’s going to be challenges. There are going to be people in and out of the lineup. That’s a very real part of our NBA season, and being a NBA ball club we have to manage those things. We just got to pick ourselves up, fill our cups back up, go prepared, rise up again. If he’s able to come right back, great. If he has to spend some time on the sideline, we have to deal with that as well. But I’m not in the business of feeling sorry for myself or am I going to allow my team to do that.”
While Ham is projecting the right attitude, the truth of the matter is that if James were to miss any time it would severely hamper the Lakers’ chances of winning games. At 2-9, things are deteriorating fast and the Purple and Gold are already losing time to make up ground.
L.A. resisting trading first round picks if struggles continue
Through 11 games, it’s clear the Lakers need to make a move if they want to salvage any part of this season. However, the front office might be of a different mind as they are reportedly not inclined to trade first round picks if the team continues to lose.
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