Lakers Provide Update On LeBron James’ Early Exit

LeBron James, Keegan Murray, Lakers, NBA
Mar 6, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) moves the ball against Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray (13) during the first half at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have their work cut out for them if they do not want to play in the NBA Play-In Tournament again this year. Their loss to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night dropped them into 10th place, three games behind the Phoenix Suns for sixth.

While the three-game gap isn’t too big, the Lakers would have several teams to jump over. Needing four different teams to go on rough stretches to move up is a lot to ask, especially with how well everyone in the top 10 of the Western Conference has played this season.

Making that task even more difficult for the Lakers is that LeBron James isn’t 100 percent healthy. In the waning moments of the game against the Kings, he limped to the locker room. He had his left ankle looked at, as the injury had lingered for a while.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: LeBron James & Los Angeles Lakers Updates

“I’ll be all right,” James said after getting his left ankle examined, his 31 points and 13 assists in 36 minutes having gone to waste in the defeat. “It’s just my ankle. It’s just what I’ve been dealing with before the [All-Star] break, after the break. I’m just managing it the best way I can.”

James sat out the Lakers’ final game ahead of the NBA All-Star Break, a victory over the Utah Jazz. He participated in the All-Star Game on Sunday night of the break but was not able to get in the lineup in their first game out of it, a loss to the Golden State Warriors.

His exit on Wednesday was not because of a specific play, as James is reportedly just dealing with wear and tear. That is understandable, as he is 39 years old and playing in his 21st season in the NBA.

“I played the whole third, sat a little bit to start the fourth, and when I got back in, it kind of just — whatever,” James said. “It’s just something I’ve been dealing with.”

“Some games are better than others,” James said. “I didn’t feel it at all against OKC [on Monday]. And I didn’t feel it at all until the fourth quarter tonight. So, each game, each day is different.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: LeBron James & Los Angeles Lakers Updates

James was questionable heading into the matchup against the Kings on the injury report because of his ankle. It would not be surprising if the same occurs for Friday’s matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks and for every game the remainder of the season.

Post-game on Wednesday, he didn’t give any indication of whether or not he would be able to play on Friday night. The Lakers certainly hope that he can suit up, as all of the games from here on out are important.

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