Shams Charania: Sources @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium: Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James will be day-to-day after MRI on groin strain.
Bill Oram: Lakers say LeBron James will not travel to Sacramento for Thursday’s game. His consecutive games streak will end. James will be day-to-day beyond that.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Lakers confirm best possible news that an MRI shows LeBron James has a strained left groin and nothing more serious and he is considered day to day. Lakers play at Sacramento on Thursday.
Earlier this season, one team staffer suggested in a conversation with The Athletic that it might take nothing more than James missing 10 games with an injury to knock the Lakers out of the playoff picture. The margins in the West are that tight, and the Lakers need LeBron that much. An injured LeBron James was not a sight anyone with the Lakers expected to see. Up to the point he hobbled off the court, James had been cruising, amassing 17 points, 13 rebounds and five assists in just 21 minutes. “I’ve never seen him hurt,” Rajon Rondo said. “I was a little shocked and couldn’t believe it, but I know it’s a serious injury. Obviously, he wouldn’t sit out a game with (just) anything. So it was very serious.”
The Lakers are No. 8 in the NBA in offense (113.2 points) compared to No. 11 (108.1) last season. It's unclear whether a player on the Lakers' blossoming roster has emerged to become a go-to player. Without James' facilitating abilities, Ball and backup point guard Rajon Rondo would need to step up. But all the intangible parts of James' game -- his leadership, defensive tenacity and experience -- don't always show up in the stat sheet. As scoring in the league has increased, the Lakers rank 18th in points allowed (111) compared to 25th in points allowed (109.6) last season.
Rondo finished with 15 points and 10 assists and was a plus-24. Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 19 points and Ivica Zubac posted his second double-double in three starts with 18 points and 11 rebounds. “It’s always next man up, no matter what,” James said. “JaVale has been out, B.I. (and) Rondo has been out. Guys have been out throughout the season, so it is next man up.” It was a refrain echoed throughout the locker room.
The Lakers pull off a stunning 127-101 blowout win in Oakland over the defending champs. But all they really want for Christmas is good news on LeBron James' MRI on his groin. A source told ESPN's Dave McMenamin that James is considered day-to-day with more clarity to come following the MRI.
The initial feeling is positive, with James "in good spirits" in the locker room afterward and a source telling ESPN's Dave McMenamin that the All-Star's timeline for recovery is considered day-to-day, pending the MRI results.
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: An initial exam on LeBron James reveals all is intact and that it’s a slight groin strain. It could have been worse.
Dave McMenamin: LeBron James tells ESPN “the good thing is the muscle is intact.” He hasn’t ruled out playing Thursday against Sacramento, however a MRI tomorrow will reveal how plausible that will actually be.
"With me with injuries, I am never too concerned about them," said James, who had an electric stimulation device attached to his hip before he and the Lakers flew back to Los Angeles. "I was able to walk off on my own power. I felt a pop and see if I could stretch it a few times and see if it will relieve, but it didn't." "I don't know," James added later when asked if he expects to miss time. "See what the MRI says and see how I feel for the rest of the day today. And I will be all around the clock tomorrow on rehabbing. And we will see how I feel on Thursday when we go to [Sacramento]."
Kyle Goon: How much pride does LeBron take in being available to play? “I take a lot of pride in it. That is why it pissed me off not being able to go back into the game.” pic.twitter.com/XkwTwHO2dZ
Kyle Goon: Luke Walton said JaVale McGee is OUT, but now everyone else including LeBron James will be able to play tonight against the Pelicans.
Zach Lowe: "Did you guys have any idea about LeBron [being injured following Game 1]? Steve Kerr: "No. Didn't have any clue. It kind of caught me off guard after the last game when people started coming up to me and telling me he was in a cast and all that. He kept it quiet."
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, James — who was briefed on the latest media reports shortly before coming to the podium — would not have worn the cast if his injury had not already been reported. His teammates and coaches all knew what had happened, and it’s a wonder how it didn’t come out sooner. It’s also unclear if James or his associates would have shared the news at a later time, but there were no plans to pull the curtain back that night. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
Sam Amick: The injury was the product of frustration: He punched a white board after Game 1, I’m told.
Sam Amick: LeBron had an MRI after Game 1, but the hand was too swollen for definitive results. A second MRI was taken later that indicated it’s a bone contusion in the right hand. It is not expected to require surgery.
Brian Windhorst: LeBron James suffered a significant right hand injury after Game 1 when he punched a black board in the locker room, sources told me & @Dave McMenamin. He had 2 MRIs & has been wearing a soft cast. LeBron not using injury as an excuse but kept quiet to prevent Warriors from knowing.
On Friday, James banged his right leg in a fourth-quarter collision with Larry Nance Jr. James said afterward it left him with pain in the leg and the ankle. Asked how the leg felt Sunday morning, James said, “It’s been better, but I’ll be ready tonight.” James wouldn’t say whether the ankle or the leg was more of an issue. “Uh, the ankle is a part of the leg, so it’s the full leg,” he said.
On Monday against the Milwaukee Bucks (7 p.m. ET on ESPN), James will play in his 70th consecutive game as he chases the first season in which he plays in all 82 games. Back in 2015, however, James was laying on the court during timeouts, propped on a towel in discomfort. It brought to mind Larry Bird and Steve Nash, all-time greats who saw their careers zapped in their 30s because of back issues. James needed two anti-inflammatory injections in his lower back in a 10-month span in 2015, one shutting him down for two weeks midseason and another wiping out his preseason. And the possibility was left open that he might need more numbing shots, an indication he was dealing with something serious.
Raimon was a SEAL for 15 years and became a disciple of biomechanics when he used the science to help himself to get over a severe neck injury suffered during a parachute jump that Navy doctors struggled to heal. He purposely avoids the spotlight and doesn't do interviews. James generally doesn't speak about Raimon or his techniques, and he credits the Cavs training staff with working to keep him in the best shape. "Between Donnie and Mike, it's a great one-two punch," James said.
Seeing him turn his ankle nearly 90 degrees only to tighten his shoelaces and finish with a triple-double. Watching him show up four hours before a playoff game to get in a sweat-soaked workout, then play more than 40 minutes and score 40 points. And the topper: the time James gained seven pounds during an Eastern Conference finals game. Some Miami Heat teammates saw the scale and attest to it in amazement. James himself just shrugs and calls it "weird as hell." The truly wild part is that it was from 271 pounds to 278 pounds, though James is much lighter these days.
It isn’t supposed to work this way. He could’ve easily gone the path of Larry Bird, whose crippling back problems left him flat on the floor during much of his last season before finally forcing him out of the league at age 35. But through his training methods, James acknowledges now he believes he has unlocked the key to staving off career-threatening concerns. 15. He has long been hesitant to share his training methods because he doesn’t want anyone to steal them, but he can’t remember the last time he needed an anti-inflammatory injection in his back and he continues to play the best basketball of his career.
Tim MacMahon: LeBron James rolled his left ankle pretty badly, but it looks like he will stay in the game. Walked it off.
"I just want to get to where I should be," James said after participating in Cavs practice Thursday. "The ankle and the foot injury just kind of kept me out and set me back further than I would like, but I got some time now along the course of these games that we got -- we got two back-to-backs coming up so that's going to help and we have some opportunity to get some practice time in as well."
Rick Noland: LeBron under no minutes restriction. Lue: "He's going to get tired anyway. He's going to take his self out"
Mary Schmitt Boyer/Jodie Valade: LeBron is out getting ready. Still don't know if he'll play tonight. #Cavs #OpeningNight
James, who has been dealing with a sprained left ankle, participated in shootaround on Tuesday morning in Cleveland, but didn't speak with reporters and is still listed as questionable for the game. James has been slowed by the injury he suffered in practice on Sept. 27. He played in only one of Cleveland's five exhibition games, and his absence has kept a starting lineup that now includes Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose from getting much floor time together.
LeBron James: Hopefully I can be Ready to get it going tomorrow night. So excited to have one of the greatest guys on and off the court with us. #TheLand
There's no way LeBron James' sprained left ankle will keep him out of the Cleveland Cavaliers' regular-season opener against Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics -- at least according to JR Smith. "Oh, he's going to go," Smith said after practice Monday. "He's going to go, trust me on that. I don't care what he's got to do, he's going to play." Smith's declaration of James' status was far more definitive than Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue's assessment of his superstar's chances of suiting up after James missed four of the Cavs' five preseason games with the injury.
Mary Schmitt Boyer/Jodie Valade: J.R. Smith on LeBron James' availability Tuesday night: "Oh, he's gonna go."
Gary Washburn: #Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said he is unsure if LeBron James will play tomorrow but is preparing as if he will. #Celtics
Lue joked when asked why the seemingly indestructible James has been hampered by this injury. "He's getting older, like me," Lue said. "It's something that he's been trying to work on. He tried to come back and play and he might have tweaked it on that spin move, and that could have set him back a little bit."
The Cavs have lost 11 consecutive regular-season games when James doesn't play and are just 4-23 without him since he returned to Cleveland in 2014. But these Cavs are set up differently than those teams. Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, and Jae Crowder are starters. The bench is much deeper. And the Cavs didn't spend an entire training camp installing an offense in which everything runs through James. In fact, the starters played well throughout training camp without James. "I think we'll be a lot better off. I think we got a lot of different pieces," Lue said. "We're deeper. A lot of versatile players. A lot of different lineups we can play. So, it will be different but I think we have a better chance, yes."
LeBron James won't play again this preseason, and there's a chance he'll miss Cleveland's hyped opener with Boston. James didn't practice Wednesday, a day after he made his exhibition debut after being slowed by a sprained left ankle sustained Sept. 27. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said the four-time MVP is sore and has been ruled out of Cleveland's final preseason game Friday night in Orlando.
James wanted to play even though he wasn't at full speed. Following the game, he hinted that he might need more time off. "I definitely wanted to test it tonight knowing that at least if I tested it tonight, I have a week until the regular season started if I don't play in the game on Friday," he said.
LeBron James woke up Wednesday with soreness in his sprained left ankle as feared, and is effectively shut down for the rest of the preseason. As for James' availability against the Celtics next week, Lue said James "got treatment all day today, so I'm not sure if we should be concerned or not. "But it's pretty sore today so we'll just see what happens."
Tyronn Lue said that LeBron James showed some signs of rust in practice Monday. He'll make his preseason debut Tuesday. "A little tired," Lue said of James, who missed nearly two weeks with a left ankle injury. "A little tired. But he went hard and pushed through it. Just trying to get his conditioning up.”
"LeBron will be able to play the last two games and none of the guys have played with LeBron yet, so that will try to give the guys a chance to try and find a rhythm going into the season," Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said. "Kind of a different way than I wanted to do it, but didn't expect LeBron to get hurt in training camp. This way they can miss this game and come back and play the last two and try to get in a little rhythm with Bron."
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said LeBron James would not play Sunday against the Washington Wizards, leaving him with just two preseason contests to gain some court time before the regular season starts. James sprained his left ankle Sept. 27 and hasn't played in either of the Cavs' two preseason games -- both losses. Cleveland fell 106-102 Friday to the Pacers.
James ditched the goggles in the first quarter, but before that happened, Richard Jefferson made fun of him for wearing them. Hours before the game started, Jefferson gave fans the first look of the goggles as James playfully tried to tell him to go away.
Chris Miller: I'm told the league did not approve the glasses LeBron was suppose to wear tonight. Vs. @wizards. James will still play. #WizCavs #DCFamily
LeBron James said he suffered a scratched cornea in his right eye in Friday's 112-105 win over Charlotte after being examined by a Hornets team physician. James, who scored 32 points in 40 minutes, could not keep his right eye open during his postgame interview session and said his vision was blurry. He was poked in the eye by Jeremy Lamb on his way to a layup with 31.2 seconds left in the third quarter.
Joe Vardon: LeBron is being seen by an eye specialist right now. Couldn't keep his right eye open during postgame interview
Good news, Columbus: LeBron James is scheduled to play at Ohio State in the Cavs' preseason finale there next week. But not until then. Coah Tyronn Lue said James would not play Thursday at home against the Toronto Raptors, and it was already Lue's plan to hold out James and most of the rotation players tonight against the Hawks and Friday in Chicago.
LeBron James did some "light work" on the court Thursday and has yet to practice fully since receiving an anti-inflammatory injection in his back Oct. 13. "We're being very conscientious and cautious with him in terms of his feeling," Cavs coach David Blatt said. "He's fine and he's gonna be fine, but we're just going slowly and carefully with him. He'll be out there very soon."
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. William Pakan, who serves as team doctor for Kent State University, told the Northeast Ohio Media Group that an athlete who receives multiple back injections in the span of 10 months, generally speaking, is "probably suffering from a degenerative change in his back, to some extent." Pakan has not treated James and agreed to speak generally about back injuries and injections. But he said that if an athlete such as James needed a third shot "over the next six months, it's a likely sign of perhaps a small disc degeneration or bulge." "At that stage, he may need to have something done (surgically), and when you start doing that, it's never like it was," Pakan said.
August 1, 2021 | 1:11 am EDT Update
Mark Schanowski: Watching NBA TV’s free agency special. Well respected @ChrisBHaynes reports unless there’s a major “hiccup”, sources tell him Lonzo Ball intends to work out a contract with the Bulls. Pelicans are going hard after free agent PG Kyle Lowry.
On a recent edition of the “Smartless,” podcast, James’ legendary father said he hopes to retire as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. “I truly hope that I can finish my career with the Lakers,” James said on the podcast, according to CBS Sports. “However many years that is, if it’s four, five, six, whatever, seven. I hope I can continue to play the game. I love being in L.A., my family loves being in L.A. Being with a historical franchise like the Lakers is something … It’s like me being in ‘Space Jam’ — I never thought it would be possible. You think about Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), and Magic (Johnson), and Wilt (Chamberlin), and Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, Kobe (Bryant), (Shaquille O’Neal) and all of them. The whole list goes on.”
“I have never said that. I laughed when I saw it cuz I’ve literally never said that. I’ve been seeing a lot of things being said. I’ve been as open about the situation as I could possibly be.” Damian Lillard on rumors that he’d give up money to be traded.
Abbott went through the details of the two’s public sparring on Twitter and the backlash he received before getting into the conversation with Lillard: “I published it and tweeted it, and then he like, retweeted it with the facepalm emoji, and then he talked to reporters and said that none of it was true. And then, I tweeted … after like a day of epic meltdown, everything in my mentions was a nightmare of people saying I’m a liar and making up stories, I’m bad at my job. And some of that just comes with the business. This was like a lot. I’ve been doing this for a long time. This was a lot. So, then I basically write what you just said Jarod. And then, Damian immediately replied to that saying he doesn’t lie. Then, he started direct messaging me and he’s in Tokyo at the Olympics, so we’re direct messaging, just like hammering away, trying to straighten it out. Then my phone rings and it’s Aaron Goodwin, who is Damian Lillard’s agent. I think I’ve known Aaron Goodwin longer than Damian has. Like, Aaron and I go way back. We’ve been through a lot of stuff, and I hold him in tremendously-high regards in a lot of ways.”
Abbott said that he wouldn’t be transparent about everything he and Lillard discussed when he requested to speak with him. But, he did share a story of Lillard’s positive vibe, even in the middle of the discussion. “Most of what happened on the phone call I’m just not going to share. It’s private. It was Dame and I getting to know each other? Actually at one point, I will tell you this funny part. I’m like, you know, ‘This thing happened, this thing happened, Twitter’s like a warzone for me now, and it’s my birthday. And Aaron starts talking, everyone starts talking, and Dame’s just like, ‘Henry, Henry, Henry, happy birthday, man.’ I’m like ‘Thank you, Dame.’”
Outside of those anecdotes, Abbott said that he called the “Dream Team” of people who would know Lillard’s leverage and control, continually insisting that neither party lied. He noted that there’s only one way out of Portland in Lillard’s case, and it would be similar to James Harden, skipping training camp, having the front office question if he’s going to give 100 percent, etc. The link to the rest of the podcast, for those interested, can be found above.
Tim Reynolds: It’s now Sunday in the US, meaning free agency starts tomorrow there, so it’s probably time to say this: Per source, when it comes to Kyle Lowry, the Miami Heat “have his attention and have had it for a while.” Buckle up, kids.
Would DeRozan realistically consider a pay cut that steep this late in his career? Constructing a sign-and-trade is another avenue but also difficult. I’d be curious to see whether the Clippers would consider placing themselves under a hard cap that would be triggered by a sign-and-trade. BT: The Lakers need shooting. One name that is coming up is Patty Mills. He can shoot the lights out and would be great off the bench. Wayne Ellington is another shooter who has interest in rejoining the Lakers. Trevor Ariza and Andre Iguodala are veteran wings who are candidates.