Tuesday, September 27 2022
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LeBron James will miss the remainder of the season rehabbing a sprained left ankle he suffered in a recent game against the New Orleans Pelicans, the Los Angeles Lakers announced Friday. The Lakers were eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday in a loss to the Phoenix Suns. James sat out that loss, and with no team goals left to play for, he is now done for the season.

While his team had little to play for, James himself had a chance at making history. He currently ranks second in the NBA in scoring by averaging 30.3 points per game, right behind Joel Embiid at 30.4. If he were to win the scoring title, he would eclipse Michael Jordan’s record as the oldest player ever to do so. Jordan did it at 34. James is 37.

But aside from trailing Embiid, eligibility is the other problem James is facing. For a player to be eligible to win the award, they would need to play in 58 games. James has played in 56. With two games left, he could have gotten there if he’d been healthy enough. Now, it seems, he is not. James technically could still qualify with fewer, but there is a catch. If a player has appeared in less than 58 games, their total points are divided by 58 to come up with a new number meant to represent their 58-game average. Essentially, it would be as if James scored zero points in his two final games, lowering his average so much that Embiid’s numbers would be out of reach.

Not even LeBron’s brilliance could save this dreadful Lakers season. He needed to score obscene amounts of points just to keep a roster often missing Anthony Davis and struggling to integrate Russell Westbrook afloat. Now their season is essentially over, and James has now seen two consecutive seasons hampered by ankle issues. He will turn 38 next season, and the Lakers have a long way to go if they plan to re-enter the championship race. James has never felt further from contention than he is right now.

Source: CBSSports.com

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