LeBron James has already mentioned that his knee won’t be able to fully heal until he’s finally able to rest in the offseason. Anthony Davis has dealt with two different lengthy stints on the disabled list. The Lakers as a whole, just based on their nightly effort levels, seem to know this season isn’t going anywhere.
So, why exactly is James risking further injury for a team destined for postseason failure? Why should Davis rush back only to risk having his offseason kicked off by recovery from yet another injury?
This week in “The Lakers Lounge,” Harrison Faigen and I discussed exactly that.
Basically, we both understand and acknowledge the various reasons why both James and Davis would want to play, as well as why the Lakers might want them out there. Every point James scores gets him that much closer to one of the NBA’s most precious records. Davis has heard all his career that he can’t stay on the court and finishing the season off of it only furthers that criticism.
Hell, the Lakers would love to somehow get their hands on the revenue a couple home playoff games would generate if they miraculously won both the necessary play-in games.
All that said, it’s impossible not to remember the impact dragging the similarly unpopular 2013 team had on Kobe Bryant’s body. He was stretched ridiculously thin in an effort to make the playoffs and, well, we know how that turned out. Rob Pelinka and the Lakers organization watched that firsthand and no one involved ever fully recovered.
I’m not saying a similar injury is sure to happen, but why risk it when everyone has clearly shown they’ve given up on this season anyway? James has more miles on him than basically anyone to have ever played the sport. Davis, like it or not, has suffered a concerning number of injuries. While we understand the reasons they’d want to keep playing, both Harrison and I thought it was a fair question to ask given how depressing this season has already been.
We discussed all that, plus the revisionist history at play in the DeMar DeRozan rumors and whether, if James and Davis were shut down, the Lakers would make the Final Four in this NCAA Tournament.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.