Commentary editor Logan Guthrie discusses the ankle injury that will keep James out of his 19th season.
On April 8, the Los Angeles Lakers sent out the following Tweet:
“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.”
This confirmed a previous message from James himself on April 1, which fans hoped was just an April Fools’ Day Prank from the NBA star. Considering the team was already eliminated from playoff contention before James would have made it back on the court, the likelihood that he would have made a significant difference is not very high.
This is not the first serious injury that a Lakers player has had this season. Russell Westbrook had an injury in his right shoulder that prevented him from playing against the Golden State Warriors. Anthony Davis only recently returned after spraining his foot. Kendrick Nunn had a bruise on his bone that kept him out for the entire season. The injury has not fully healed, however, he does plan to opt in for next season.
With all of the injuries the Lakers have faced this year, the team has not lived up to either their potential or people’s expectations, and this has led to the second time that they have missed the postseason since 2018 when the team first acquired James.
James has still managed to have a successful season despite all of this. He averaged 30.3 points per game, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists within 37.2 minutes a night. Furthermore, his average points per game are the highest that they have been since the 2007-08 season. While James’ statistics are for an incomplete season, they are still numbers that he should be very proud of.
He has missed a total of five games out of the Lakers’ last six, so it came as no surprise when they announced he was out for the remainder of the season. He reached out to his fans and supporters on social media saying, “I appreciate it and love y’all love! Wish it was done in a winning fashion though! Gave everything I had to this season when I was on the floor! See y’all again in the fall.”
Unfortunately, his missed games will cost James the scoring title he was in the running for this year. It will be interesting to see if he will be able to come back in his Year 20 next season and be able to keep up his previous pace and potentially win the title for 2022-23.
The injury does not appear to be serious enough to require surgery, and he has no plans to retire before the next season. Most likely, he is still holding true to his hope and willingness to do anything to play with his son wherever Brony is drafted for his first season and make that the way he goes out.