LeBron reacts to NBA playoff injuries: “I knew exactly what would happen”

LeBron James
LeBron James reacted to the latest injury news during the NBA playoffs. Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

The NBA has been rattled by mostly unfortunate news this Wednesday. The two most notable are potentially long-term absences from Chris Paul (due to health and safety protocols) and Kawhi Leonard (due to a knee injury) adding to an ever-elongating list of injured players during these playoffs.

Leonard, already ruled out for game five, will be the eighth All-Star to miss at least one game during this postseason, an NBA record even before a determination on Paul’s status. This comes after the shortest offseason in NBA history and a compressed schedule to fit 72 regular season in before the summer Olympics.

The constant barrage of injuries was enough to get LeBron James, who was vocal about the short rest in between seasons, to send out three tweets showing his frustration for how the NBA handled this situation:

Of course, LeBron is going to see some criticism for this because he always does and it’s fair to wonder whether he would publicly show the same frustration if his Los Angeles Lakers, hampered by injuries all season long, were still in contention to win a ring. Maybe people will find issue with his delivery. But regardless of that, he also is right about this.

The NBA decided to have their cake and eat it too. They played a full postseason in a bubble and wanted a nearly full regular season to follow it while, for some reason, still wanting to cater to the Olympics that, at that point, were far from a certain event to happen. In between all that, they also added an All-Star game to reduce the little bit of rest the league’s biggest names were going to get all year. All of this has led to a season where health and safety protocols and injuries have effectively sapped much of the joy from basketball at an alarming rate. We don’t even know what the long-term effects of these decisions will be on the athletes’ health.

None of this is to say that this is an asterisk season or that whoever wins the title this year isn’t deserving. Ultimately, you have to play who is in front of you and if you’re the last team standing, you are more than deserving of that championship. But the NBA very clearly dropped the ball on this one and the biggest face of the league taking to social media to lambast them is an awful but deserved look.

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