With their season coming to an earlier than expected end in the first round of the NBA playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers will now turn their focus to the offseason. For the players themselves, especially superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, that means taking some time to focus on healing their bodies.
Injuries were the story of the season for the Lakers this season with the long-term issues surrounding James and Davis ultimately sinking the team. While James did return from his severe high ankle sprain just before the end of the regular season, he never looked quite like himself back on the court.
James could still have an obligation with Team USA and the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but he, in a joking way, dismissed that possibility. “Nah, I think I’m gonna play for the Toon Squad this summer instead of the Olympics,” James said following the team’s Game 6 loss to the Phoenix Suns.
“I think that’s what my focus is on, on trying to beat the Monstars or the Goon Squad we call them now. So didn’t have much success vs. the Suns so now I am gearing my attention to the Goon Squad here in mid July. So I’m gonna let the ankle rest for about a month and then I’m gonna gear up with Lola, Taz, Granny, Bugs and the rest of the crew. Hopefully we’ll see y’all at the match.”
James obviously was referring to his movie Space Jam 2, which is set to release this summer. While he was obviously having fun about that, the desire to get some rest this summer is undoubtedly his focus. “Well it’s gonna work wonders for me, obviously. Obviously during the season I don’t talk about rest, I don’t even like to put my mind and frame into that, it makes me weak. But in the offseason I get an opportunity to rest.
“I got like three months to recalibrate, get my ankle back to 100% where it was before the Atlanta game. That’s the most important thing for me, everything else feels extremely well. My ankle is the only thing that was kind of bothering me, obviously bothering me in the later stage of the season and it never fully got back to before the injury. But I’m happy I was able to just go out there and at least try to help our team win.”
The last time James had his season end early and had plenty of time to rest and prepare for the next, he came out with a vengeance and was the MVP in the eyes of many. Now James will be looking to get back to that level in the 2021-22 season.
James bothered Lakers never got to play at full strength
Injuries decimated the Lakers this season as it seemed as if every game another player was gone for one reason or another. There was never any opportunity to develop chemistry with the entire team and that more than anything is what bothers James about this season.
“It’s kind of hard to start thinking about when we got started, this season started so fast after leaving the bubble obviously,” LeBron said. “I think I was talking to Wes in the locker room just a few minutes ago and I said the one thing that bothers me more than anything, we never really got an opportunity to see our full team at full strength either because of injuries or COVID or something going on with our ballclub this year.”
The Lakers only had a handful of games together before the playoffs began and that would cost them in the end.
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