The Los Angeles Lakers lost their season opening game to the Clippers for the second straight year. But the real concern, at least for a second, was when LeBron James went to the ground after stepping on Ivica Zubac’s foot and turning his ankle.
As we are accustomed to seeing, James stayed on the ground for a bit before getting up with the help of his teammates and continuing as if nothing had happened. Still, the star forward sat out the last eight minutes of the game as the Clippers pulled away late. According to him, that was a decision made by Frank Vogel and his trainer.
After the game, LeBron also made it clear that he would be good to go for Friday’s Christmas Day matchup against the Dallas Mavericks despite turning his ankle “pretty good.” He even quipped that he would let it heal with some extra wine drinking.
The Lakers have already made it clear that the health of their players is the most important thing to take away from this regular season, even admitting that LeBron and Anthony Davis could get some load management that they didn’t really receive last year. The team has a few nagging bumps and bruises already: Dennis Schröder turned an ankle in preseason but seems to have recovered, Alex Caruso had a hip issue that kept him out of some preseason games, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope got kneed in the leg on a screen on Tuesday but remained in the game after a timeout.
Still, all signs point to the Lakers being fully healthy as they try to get their first win of the new season on Friday.