The Los Angeles Lakers miss LeBron James. Obviously. James has missed the team’s last 14 games now, and the Lakers have gone 5-9 in his absence. With the team currently sitting at ninth in the Western Conference, it could use James back to propel them to a playoff spot.
He won’t rush back, however. Rich Paul, James’ agent, shared the following with Sam Amick of The Athletic:
“We don’t give a shit what nobody thinks or says,” Paul said via phone. “We’re going to do what’s best for him. The best-case scenario was three weeks, the worst-case was six weeks, and we’re right on schedule. He’ll improve his workload, and he’ll be day to day from there.
“Now day to day doesn’t mean tomorrow or the next day (he’ll be back). Day to day means that after each day of his workload, we’ll evaluate it, and when he feels his best he’ll play. However long it takes, it’ll take. We’re not on nobody else’s timeline.”
“Look, LeBron is in his 16th year, and he’s a proven guy,” Paul continued. “He doesn’t owe nothing to nobody. When he’s ready to be back, he’ll be back. It’s as simple as that. Until then, he’s going to root his teammates on and try to help them as best he can.
“Obviously he cares (about their struggles). The man wants to play. He’s fucking itching to play, but he can’t put himself in that situation. It’s just, you’ve really got to do the right thing and it has zero to do with his age, or the fact that he’s played 16 seasons – nothing to do with that. This is a tendon. It’s not a shoulder, or an ankle, or an elbow. The smart thing to do is to do the smart thing. You can’t allow media, or the fact that the team might be losing, to dictate what’s best for you, and we won’t. He’s progressing. He’s not ready yet.”
James has played 34 games for the Lakers this season, averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game while shooting 51.8 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from 3-point range.