Los Angeles Lakers rumors about a lingering LeBron James injury were mentioned during a new episode of The Jump on ESPN.
Host Rachel Nichols was discussing the struggles of the Lakers and James with former NBA players Paul Pierce and Tracy McGrady. That was when the James injury from earlier in the season came up.
Playing against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day, LeBron James suffered a severe groin injury. At the time, James was averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 7.1 assists in 34.6 minutes a night for L.A.
He had also helped propel the Los Angeles Lakers to a fourth-place standing in the Western Conference. It wouldn’t last.
L.A. Lakers rumors persist as LeBron James returns
After missing 17 games for the Lakers, James finally returned to the court on January 31. He played 40 minutes in that first game, going 9-of-22 from the field and finishing with 24 points, 14 rebounds, and nine assists.
It was a statement game, which the Lakers won over the Clippers. It also led to him sitting out the following game.
During his 17-game absence, the Lakers fell from a playoff spot to a team outside of the playoff picture. Even with his return, the Lakers continued to struggle, but this is where those latest Los Angeles Lakers rumors come into play.
Is LeBron James still injured? Is it possible he rushed back from his injury due to how badly the Lakers were playing without him?
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The Lakers have lost two straight games, falling to the lowly Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans — two teams that have every incentive to lose games now.
In the updated NBA standings, the Lakers now trail the No. 8 seeded San Antonio Spurs by three games in the West. With just 22 games left on the schedule, Paul Pierce stated that the Lakers should shut down James.
Pierce believes James is still hurt and that the Lakers’ season is lost. Is he right?