The reports on LeBron James and a potential return to the Lakers before the end of the regular season have not been promising.
The latest comes from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who said he has heard James is nowhere near returning to action with just a little more than three weeks left in the regular season.
“From what I’ve heard on LeBron James is that he is not close,” Windhorst said on The Hoop Collective podcast, via HoopsHype. That I was what I was told — ‘not close.’ Does that mean he’s out for six months? No.
“I know that everybody said the three weeks but I think it was very clear. Three weeks is when he’s going to get an official re-evaluation, it didn’t mean he is coming back in three weeks. I know that LeBron has played through injuries in the past. I’m not 100 percent sure this is an injury you can play through.”
This follows similar reports from both Jovan Buha of The Athletic (link) and Shams Charania of The Athletic (link).
Both also suggested that James is further away from returning from a right foot tendon injury than the Lakers perhaps initially hoped. The team said on March 2 that James would be re-evaluated in three weeks. That doesn’t mean a return — it just means it will be checked out at that point.
James, 38, isn’t going to carry a team the way he once did. It’s become pretty clear that the Lakers generally go the way Anthony Davis and the supporting cast go. But James still gives them the best chance at winning regularly and winning big.
Without him, you have to wonder if the Lakers will ever get the opportunity to do either of those things in the postseason.
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Mr. James will average playing about 3 out of every 5 games this season.
The concern could become getting / staying in game shape. And the 3 out of 5 that he has played, he usually doesn’t go all out for the entire game. Coasts at times.
Lakers-wise. Your last paragraph. Is Pelinka gonna face any heat this summer if the Lakers don’t go deep? It’s a pretty strange roster, that raises a lot of questions about the future.