LeBron James will miss his first game of the season when the Los Angeles Lakers play a road game against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday in their final outing before the NBA All-Star break, the Lakers said. James did not accompany the team on its flight to Sacramento following a 114-104 home loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, according to a team spokesperson.
More Rumors in this Storyline
Heading into the Suns game, James was listed as probable with a left ankle sprain, which he suffered earlier in the season. He will receive treatment while he is in L.A., according to the team.
Dave McMenamin: LeBron James said his turned left ankle, which kept him out of the final eight minutes of the game, will not keep him out of Christmas Day against the Mavericks on Friday. He said he’ll do round the clock treatment, which will include drinking wine. Hey, it’s the holidays.
Harrison Faigen: LeBron says that he’s going to “listen to his body” as he attempts to stay healthy and get set to play amidst this super short turnaround. “We’re a marathon team. We’re not in a sprint. We just gotta get better every day.”
The Los Angeles Lakers look dominant on defense and, in the early going, LeBron James has been a linchpin rather than a liability on that end of the floor. “I’m playing injury free. I’m not injured. My quick twitch is back. My speed is back, my strength is back,” James said after the Lakers’ 103-96 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday to improve to 5-1.
“Playing with a torn groin last year — even when I came back it was still partially torn — it was difficult to be able to move and shift like I’m capable of doing that defensively,” James said. “For me, I just take the challenge. I love being challenged. Coach [Frank Vogel] challenged me, AD [Anthony Davis] challenged me, I challenged myself. “I put a lot of hard work into my offseason by getting my quick twitch, getting my bounce back, getting my speed back, my reaction time back. My mind has always been there. That’s what it’s all about.”
Marc Stein: As he rose up from his locker just now, LeBron James spotted the world’s leading LeBron-ologist @WindhorstESPN studying his walk to see how well he was moving. “Looking to see if I’m limping?” James asked Windy with a smile. “Even if I was I wouldn’t show you.”
Nance fell to the floor after contesting a shot by Jayson Tatum and James had already turned his head toward the other end of the court as he signaled that the possession should belong to Cleveland as the ball went out of bounds, making him unable to avoid the contact. “I just felt someone fall into my leg and my leg kind of went in,” James said. “I felt some pain throughout my entire right side of my ankle into my leg. I was just hoping for the best, obviously, because I’ve seen so many different injuries, and watching basketball with that type of injury, someone fall into one’s leg standing straight up. Luckily, I was able to finish the game.”
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
The back problems James battled a couple of years ago seem to be a thing of the past. He received an injection prior to last season as a precautionary measure, but felt so good this year he didn’t even need one. Now he’s playing 80 minutes stretched over two nights and still feels great. “The last couple years this is the best I’ve felt,” James said. “And I told you guys I’ve put a lot of work into my body, into my craft. I’ve re-arranged a little bit with my diet and it’s worked to my benefit. And for me to have back to back nights like this after coming off a long road trip, just shows that everything is working in the right direction.”
Joe Vardon: LeBron will play tomorrow, Blatt said
James was doing some unique stretches on a medicine ball prior to the game with his trainer, Mike Mancias. I don’t recall him working on a medicine ball at all last season, but he told me it’s all part of trying to stretch his back and keep it loose.
LeBron James received an injection in his back this week, according to multiple sources, and is unlikely to play again in the preseason. James received a similar anti-inflammatory shot in January when he was shut down for two weeks and responded so well that the plan was always for him to have another one at some point, one league source said. By doing it now, James won’t miss any significant time.
Brian Windhorst: With Cavs having a depleted roster due to injuries, steps being taken to have James prepared for season. Has had these shots in back before
Storyline Hype Rumor visits per day for the last week
Views per day
April 19, 2021 | 8:10 am EDT Update
Chema de Lucas: Mike James will play with the Brooklyn Nets until the end of the season. Immediate incorporation. Nets interest in the CSKA Moscow player was first reported by @Eurohoopsnet.
Reigning EuroLeague scoring champion Mike James has emerged as a candidate to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, Eurohoops has learned via a source. James was suspended indefinitely by CSKA Moscow in late March following an incident with team head coach Dimitris Itoudis and has headed back to his native United States. UPDATE: He will join the Nets, according to Chema de Lucas.
The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have signed forward Yuta Watanabe (YOU-tuh wah-tuh-NAH-bay) to a standard NBA contract. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Watanabe, 6-foot-9, 205 pounds, is averaging 4.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 13.4 minutes in 39 games (one start) as a two-way player with the Raptors this season. He is shooting .448 (56-125) from the field, including .400 (24-40) from three-point range, and has scored in double figures six times. Watanabe recorded a career-high 21 points Apr. 16 vs. Orlando.
Hasheem Thabeet is looking to make an NBA comeback, his agent Jerry Dianis told me on Saturday. The 7’3″ big-man just won MVP honors while playing in Taiwan for the Hsinchu JKO Lioneers. “Bottom line Hasheem Thabeet was given a opportunity, and he killed it,” Dianis told me. “MVP performance with career highs in points, rebounds, minutes played, assists and steals. Thabeet averaged 18.3 points, 14.3 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game.
To gauge who are the top international players, HoopsHype polled 15 NBA talent evaluators, including 10executives and five scouts. Each talent evaluator was asked to list his top five international players. The criteria included any player pro player not in the NBA right now. Some of the talent evaluators prioritized former NBA players and older veterans who are having an immediate impact on their team overseas. Others placed a higher value on younger prospects who are likely to come to the NBA in upcoming drafts. 1. Nikola Mirotic (Barcelona): The 30-year-old forward is shooting an astounding 59.7 percent from the field and 47.2 percent from beyond the arc while scoring 15.9 points per game. “He’s the guy that’s been most productive in the NBA, and someone you can put in an NBA game right now if you had to,” one NBA executive told HoopsHype.
2. Josh Giddey (Adelaide 36ers): “He has great size and excellent court vision,” an NBAexecutive told HoopsHype. “He sees the floor so well, and he’s probably too unselfish at times. His shooting will need a lot of work. He needs to become a consistent threat from three and he needs to improve at the line, but he’s playing in a tough league at a young age and he’s having success.”
3. Vasilije Micic (Anadolu Efes): The 6-foot-5 Serbian guard has his draft rights retained currently by the Thunder. While some have speculated he could make the jump to the NBA, his agent, Misko Raznatovic, denied having talks with any clubs for next season at this time. Still, Micic has drawn the attention of NBA teams with his play. “He’s almost an elite passer,” one NBAscout told HoopsHype. “He’s a good shooter, both on and off the dribble. He’s not athletic but has enough strength after his first step to get at the rim once he gets a runway. He’s very smart. His basketball IQ is off the charts.”