“I’m not looking for a handout,” LeBron James said about a week ago.
It may be James himself who is the hardest to convince a 36-year-old to rest to make sure the Lakers’ biggest star is healthy. But in the end, James and the Lakers surrendered as the All-Star break approached, many of the top-rotating players entered, and went back-to-back with a team that was far behind.
After the Lakers lost to Phoenix Suns 114-104 on Tuesday night, it was soon decided that James should stay in Los Angeles instead of going to Sacramento with the team. Prior to the match against Kings on Wednesday, James was the only Lakers to start all 36 matches. The injury report officially quoted his ankle pain – perhaps symbolic as four league MVPs have been listed for ankle pain since December.
“We encouraged him to quit the game when needed, but he had the idea of supporting him if he wanted to be there,” said coach Frank Vogel. “He always says he wants to play if he feels good. He’s been hit hard right now, especially with ankle pain, so I took this opportunity to keep him home in this game.”
James wasn’t the only one: In addition to a long-term injury to fellow all-star Anthony Davis, the Lakers played a game with reserve guard Alex Caruso unable to play after suffering a neck cramp against Phoenix in the fourth quarter. It was decided near the time.
Veteran Center Marc Gasol has not participated due to the NBA’s COVID-19 protocol. When asked for details about Gasol’s situation, including the length of time he might face under quarantine, Vogel said no further details could be shared publicly. The league revealed on Wednesday afternoon that seven players were positive for the coronavirus last week, but most are believed to be focused on breakouts, including the Toronto Raptors.
The Lakers shuffled their starting lineup in absenteeism, including launching Damian Jones on a 10-day contract center. After playing Montrezl Harrell against Sands in just 19 minutes, Vogel spoke to Harrell in Sacramento Wednesday morning, saying it would be more comfortable to get off the bench. The Lakers were ready to play Jones against Sands, but weren’t sure he could play with a back strain until he approached the chip-off.
“He said he wanted to get out of the bench and play a normal role,” Vogel said. “He likes to feel the game a bit before getting in there. That’s his taste and certainly we support it. It’s a simple conversation.”
The Lakers aren’t just down players. The team hasn’t had assistant coach Lionel Hollins since losing to the Washington Wizards on February 22nd. The 67-year-old boy missed all the NBA bubbles in Orlando last season due to health concerns and is considered an important voice, especially when it comes to defense.
“I missed Lionel last year. I miss him now,” Vogel said. “I hope he will join us again when the team reunites after the break, but he makes a strong voice in our culture, staff meetings, and locker rooms with our players. Everyone respects his level of experience and knowledge, and I miss him during this time. ”
James stands for FAMU in shoes
During Black History Month, LeBron James said he would not limit the celebration of black culture to February alone.
An avid observer of the match on Tuesday may have seen James represent Florida A & M University in his game sneakers. The Green Revlon XVIII was a deliberate nod to the Historically Black College, which emphasized James’ future construction.
“I hope something will come out of it in the near future. I think there were some things in the work. But FAMU is a great institution. Great people. And that was my support tonight. I was able to wear them at TNT on the national stage and was able to recognize FAMU and other black HBCUs. ”
Lakers’ Frank Vogel explains decision to rest LeBron; bring Montrezl Harrell off bench – Press Enterprise Source link Lakers’ Frank Vogel explains decision to rest LeBron; bring Montrezl Harrell off bench – Press Enterprise