LeBron James to sit out last 6 games of Lak­ers’ sea­son

Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! HEALTH! -

Lhave our ro­ta­tions down, and guys have been play­ing well.”

Although James’ first sea­son with Los Angeles was a fail­ure, it showed prom­ise be­fore in­juries changed ev­ery­thing.

The Lak­ers were 2014 and in fourth place in the Western Con­fer­ence when James strained his groin dur­ing a stun­ning 26-point road vic­tory over Golden State on Christ­mas. He sat out their next 17 games in the long­est in­jury ab­sence of his ca­reer.

James re­turned to the lineup for good in early Fe­bru­ary, but the in­jury­plagued Lak­ers were un­able to re­cover and make the play­offs.

Along with James, the Lak­ers are fin­ish­ing the sea­son with­out three key play­ers in their young core. Bran­don In­gram has been out since March 2 due to a blood clot­ting is­sue, while Lonzo Ball hasn’t played since Jan. 19 be­cause of an an­kle in­jury, and Josh Hart was ruled out for the sea­son this week with a knee in­jury.

“I haven’t been a part of a sea­son with this ton of in­juries to all our key guys, to big, big key guys,” James said ear­lier this month. “It’s just the way the sea­son has been. We’ve had guys step up ... but for us, we prided our­selves on our depth to start the sea­son, and ob­vi­ously our depth has dwin­dled.”

Ear­lier this sea­son, the 34-year-old James ex­pressed am­biva­lence about the pos­si­bil­ity of shut­ting him­self down early, say­ing such a de­ci­sion would clash with his nat­u­ral com­pet­i­tive­ness. He also said he felt fresh af­ter the least­busy sea­son of his adult life.

But John­son and Pelinka ap­par­ently per­suaded James of the wis­dom of an early wrap to a lost year, fol­lowed by a fresh start in the fall.

Over­all, the Lak­ers went 28-27 with James in their lineup.

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