LeBron James’ first season with the LA Lakers has officially ended. Sadly, his début season has been quite forgettable for a number of reasons and has disappointed fans as LeBron James will miss the playoffs for the first time in a long time.
Lakers management has confirmed that they have decided to pull him out for their remaining games.
In a statement issued by Lakers’ top brass Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka, the team cited the groin injury that James sustained in their Christmas Day game against the Golden State Warriors. James still needs to fully recover and they would rather give him the time off for the future success of the team.
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The King Needs Time To Heal
The 34-year old four-time MVP missed 17 games this season due to a groin injury and returned when the Lakers were a few games out from the playoffs. James also missed games due to “load management” and will now miss their five remaining games as well.
James’ therapist shared a post on Instagram which sought to inform the world about the extent of his injury. She cited that James should have been out for six months instead of six weeks, and throughout this time, he has endured much pain. He just did not want to disappoint his fans.
A physical therapist that worked with LeBron and Lakers trainer Mike Mancias deleted this post saying his injury should’ve kept him out six months and that he returned early to not let his team down. 👀 pic.twitter.com/VppezX9vZa
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) March 23, 2019
James had a good individual season with the Lakers with per game averages of 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists in 55 games. The Lakers are currently 35-42 and are officially eliminated from the playoffs in the tough Western Conference.
This is clearly not the results that the Lakers expected after bringing in James. They were 35-47 last season and based on their results this season, the improvement is marginal even with the addition of King James.
The media have been highly critical of James’s performances this season with his visible defensive lapses, turnovers and an infamous game-winning attempt that was blocked by Mario Hezonja.
Trade Rumours Destroyed Team Chemistry
More than his failures on the court, the media blamed James for the thwarted trade deal that failed to bring over Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. Since Davis is managed by an agency which James co-founded, NBA fans have identified him as the mastermind.
The trade rumours went public and young players like Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram were visibly affected when they were placed on the trading block. This incident, along with clips of James being disconnected with his teammates, has given the media enough ammunition to go after James for causing discord and breaking team chemistry.