This April’s Fools, LeBron James, dubbed King James on Twitter, playfully reported that he would be ‘out for the season officially’. The joke was on him since, little did he know, his tricks would come true a few days later as the Los Angeles Lakers announced his break due to a sprained ankle.
“LeBron James’ left ankle was recently reevaluated by Lakers medical staff, and it was determined that due to the ankle sprain James suffered in a game on March 27th, he will miss the remainder of the 2021-22 NBA season to allow for continued healing and an expected full recovery,” Los Angeles Lakers issued the announcement, prior to the next match with Oklahoma City Thunder.
LeBron James went down after rolling his left ankle but he's up and will try to continue. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/80KfTrA1aE
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) March 27, 2022
Sprains are not new to James
On March 27th, James accidentally landed on Pelicans’ center Jaxson Hayes’ foot and twisted his left ankle in a Lakers’ match against the New Orleans Pelicans (108-116). The incident, however, did not deplete his courage. Not only did he endure the pain throughout the rest of the game, but he also managed to score most of his points.
“I have no idea how I finished the game, to be honest, after watching that replay,” James confessed. “It’s horrible. It’s pretty sore right now.” However, he was too focused on winning the game to let the mishap bother him. He never considered pausing, “I didn’t want to come out of the game because I understood how big of a game it was for us,” he continued.
Earlier in January, having finished a road trip in Atlanta, James left the team behind and departed early to Los Angeles to receive a medical check-up and treatment. His left knee, which had been hurting, was diagnosed with some ‘general swelling’. In response to his knee injury, Lakers coach Frank Vogel stated, “We’re always mindful of the load that he’s carrying, in constant communication with him and the medical team.”
James disqualified from a second scoring title
Some believe that this incident resulted in his chance of winning another NBA scoring title being wiped out as he did not complete the qualifying requirement of 58 games. With 30.4 points per game, James is right behind Philadelphia 76ers’ center Joel Embiid and his 30.4 points per game. Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo ranks third at 29.9 points per game. James, 37, could have broken the records as the oldest player to win the scoring title had he met the prerequisite.
Shortly after the announcement, James’ openly assured the public, “I appreciate it and love y’all love! Wish it was done in winning fashion though! Gave everything I had to this season when I was on the floor! See y’all again in the fall.” With this recovery, James will be missing the final two games against Oklahoma City Thunder (Friday) and the upcoming Denver Nuggets (Sunday).
This is certainly sore news for the Lakers and their fans, as the team had not scored a win in the last eight games since the beginning of this year. In the meantime, the Lakers and their fans have to do with James’ final stats at 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 56 starts this season.
‘Til better luck next time, and may he be able to manifest his speedy recovery too.