After a Friday night victory against the Charlotte Hornets, the Los Angeles Lakers have decided to shut down star forward LeBron James for the remainder of the season.
Lakers statement: “After consulting with our team doctors and medical staff, we have decided to hold LeBron out of games for the remainder of the season. This decision will allow his groin to fully heal, and is best for the future success of both LeBron and the Lakers.”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 30, 2019
With the Lakers out of playoff contention since their loss to the Brooklyn Nets on March 22, one had to wonder what compelled the Lakers to continue to play him. This is a smart move to allow the 34-year-old James to recover.
Ever since the groin injury that occurred on Christmas Day, that caused LeBron to miss 17 games, one had to wonder how it would affect him moving forward as it was his first major injury.
Per Positive Residual, this is the first ever season in which LeBron played less than 2000 minutes, with 1937 minutes during his first season with the purple and gold. His second lowest was 2326 minutes during the lockout season of 2011/2012.
In the 55 games that LeBron played, the Lakers had a 28-27 win/loss record and averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 8.3 assists. Which is pretty astonishing considering his age and how much he’s played during his career.
By sitting James, it will give the star time to rest while increasing the chances of Lakers losing, which helps their draft lottery odds. Both the Lakers and LeBron have work to do this summer to ensure that the remaining years of his contract don’t end up as bad as this one.
If the Lakers can do a better job building a roster around LeBron James and perhaps bring in a second star, hopefully, the playoff drought for the Lakers will end next year.