LeBron James twisted his ankle, badly, during a collision with Jaxson Hayes while trying to get an offensive rebound in the first quarter of the Lakers’ 116-108 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night. He crumpld to the ground and stayed down for a few minutes, but was ultimately able to re-tie his shoes and finish the game.
Still, James didn’t appear to have as much pop moving around the floor afterwards, and following the defeat, even he was in disbelief he was able to play approximately 30 more minutes of game time after the injury.
“I have no idea how I finished the game, to be honest, after watching that replay. It’s pretty nasty,” James said.
The replay, is, indeed, nasty, and James says his current level of discomfort is about as bad as anyone who saw his foot twist perpendicular to the floor might think.
“Oh it’s horrible. It’s horrible right now. And unfortunately we’re about to hop on a flight too,” James said. “I’ve just got to get treatment around the clock, see what happens day-to-day, but it’s pretty sore right now.”
When asked if he would have played through the injury if this game hadn’t been so important for the Lakers as they look to keep their flagging play-in hopes alive, James said “probably not,” which doesn’t exactly lend a lot of hope to the idea that he’ll be available for the team’s next game, a Tuesday matchup with the Dallas Mavericks.
“From the time that I turned my ankle, I felt a sharp pain in my leg and it started getting hot, and I’ve been there with ankle sprains before,” James said. “I didn’t want to come out of the game because I understood how big of a game it was for us.”
And the Lakers ultimately lost that big game, despite James trying to gut it out. To James, it was just another instance of how snake-bitten this team has been: They’re rolling in their best first half of the season, only to sustain an injury to their best player and collapse down the stretch when he could no longer physically will them to victory.
“It’s just a microcosm of season,” James said.
It’s hard to argue with him there. The whole thing was just another sharp pain in a season full of them.