The Los Angeles Lakers officially announced that they are shutting down Lebron James for the remainder of the season now that the team is no longer in contention for the postseason. The reason for them resting the All-Star small/power forward for the rest of the regular season is because he is dealing with yet another injury to his groin.
The 2018-2019 season is one that James, the Lakers and his vast number of followers and fans would like to forget. After a season that was viewed and filled with so much promise when he decided to sign with L.A., to move to the west coast, compete in a loaded Western Conference and following the team’s nice start to the year, he was expected to lead the Lake Show back to the playoffs and usher in a new era of prosperity for the franchise.
However, James dealt with a nagging groin injury throughout the season and a lack of consistent contributions from other members on the roster during his absence as well as when he was in the active line up ultimately doomed them to yet another year of dwelling in the basement of the league standings.
The team failed to acquire him some much-needed help before the NBA trade deadline expired when they weren’t able to procure Anthony Davis from the Pelicans or anyone else after that transaction didn’t fall through.
James averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 8.3 assists during his first season out west and his 55 games played is the lowest total of his career since the 2011-2012 season in his second year with Miami Heat when he played just 62 games. This will be the first time that a Lebron led team has missed out on the postseason since the 2004-2005 season and the first NBA Finals that will be Lebron-less since 2010 when ironically, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics 4-3 in the seven-game series.
The Lakers were officially eliminated from playoff contention when they lost to a Brooklyn Nets team that was led by the former top pick of the Lakers in D’Angelo Russell on March 22. Russell finally broke out this season as he blossomed into an All-Star and could have been just the kind of help that would’ve lightened some of the load for Lebron this year.
The Lakers and president of basketball operations Earvin “Magic” Johnson will head into an early offseason with the goal of putting a strong supporting cast around an aging Lebron James who is still considered at the top of his game.