While much of the basketball world was focused on the NCAA tournament action, the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers suffered a serious setback Saturday, losing superstar LeBron James to injury.
James left in the second quarter with what was called a high right ankle sprain. The Lakers said the injury will sideline James indefinitely.
The Lakers went on to fall 99-94 to the Atlanta Hawks at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The 36-year-old James later expressed his disappointment in a Twitter message — but vowed to get back to the court.
“Nothing angers and saddens me more than not being available to and for my teammates!” James wrote. “I’m hurt inside and out right now. The road back from recovery begins now. Back soon like I never left.”
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin later posted on Twitter that James was able to accompany his Lakers teammates on a flight to Phoenix for their next game against the Suns.
The defending NBA champions already are without All-NBA big man Anthony Davis, who has missed 14 consecutive games with a right calf injury and likely won’t play again until April.
James was hurt when he rolled his ankle under Solomon Hill, who was called for a foul as he reached awkwardly for a steal. The Lakers star screamed and fell to the court clutching at his ankle, yet he got up and briefly stayed in the game.
“I haven’t necessarily seen him scream and squall like that, probably ever, not even with that groin,” said Kyle Kuzma, who was with the Lakers when James missed 17 games with a groin injury two seasons ago. “It had to hurt a little bit, for sure.”
After the injury, James hit a corner 3-pointer that extended his NBA-record streak of games with at least 10 points to 1,036, but he ca… (Read more)
Nothing angers and saddens me more than not being available to and for my teammates! I’m hurt inside and out right now. 🤦🏾♂️. The road back from recovery begins now. Back soon like I never left. #ThekidfromAKRON🤴🏾— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 21, 2021
LeBron James accompanied the Lakers on their flight to Phoenix, according to a team spokesperson.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 21, 2021