LeBron James has been a poster child for durability throughout his career but it wasn’t until last season, his 15th in the NBA, that he played in all 82 games of a single season. James has maintained doing so did not have an adverse effect on his body or conditioning.
That of course is of significant importance to the Los Angeles Lakers, who signed James to a four-year contract in free agency this past summer. He’s due to turn 34 years old on Sunday.
The Lakers have cautiously managed James’ minutes thus far, but that couldn’t prevent him from suffering a strained groin in the third quarter of what was an impressive Christmas Day performance against the Golden State Warriors.
A preliminary examination suggested James largely avoided serious injury. While an MRI is to follow, he downplayed concern over the matter and injuries in general, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“With injuries, I’m never too concerned about them. I was able to walk off on my own power. I felt the pop, tried to see if I could stretch it a few times, see if it would relieve but it didn’t.”
However, James did admit to feeling some frustration and anger over not being able to return after sustaining the injury:
“I take a lot of pride in it. That’s why it pissed me off not to be able to go back into the game. More than anything, being available to my teammates, being available to my coaching staff, that’s something I take more personal than anything. Hopefully it’s not a long thing and I can get back on the floor as soon as possible.”
James finished with 17 points, 13 rebound and 5 assists in 21 minutes. Although he didn’t finish the game, he’s now 2-2 in his career against the Warriors on Christmas.
James went into the night having played in 162 straight games. The Lakers next take the court Thursday, for the start of a road-home back-to-back with the Sacramento Kings and Clippers. That streak will likely come to an end as he’s considered day-to-day after an MRI confirmed the strain.
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