Tuesday, May 30 2023

LeBron James’ 20th season came to an anticlimactic end on Monday when the Los Angeles Lakers were swept out of the Western Conference Finals by the Denver Nuggets.

It was clear by the end of Game 2 that the Nuggets were simply the better team, but the Lakers kept fighting hard until the end, particularly James, who had 31 points in the first half of Game 4.

But throughout the playoffs, it was clear he was a bit diminished, and many speculated it was because of the right foot tendon injury he had suffered in late February that forced him to miss a month of action.

When he returned in late March, he said he might need surgery on the injured foot after the season ends, and he seemed to confirm that possibility after the Lakers were eliminated (h/t Lakers Daily).


“I’m going to get an MRI on it and see how the tendon either healed or not healed and go from there,” James told ESPN when asked if surgery might be an option this summer. “We’ll see what happens.”

James finished the playoffs averaging 24.5 points on 49.8 percent shooting, 9.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game. During the regular season, he put up 28.9 points on 50.0 percent shooting, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game.


James on whether he can return to his old self next season

There are those who feel like Father Time is finally catching up with the four-time MVP after 20 seasons. However, prior to his foot injury, he looked like pretty much the same James everyone has been used to seeing over the years.

ESPN asked him if he could be that same player after a full offseason of rehab, and he responded with an affirmative, then added this as his reasoning.

“Because I’m still better than 90% of the NBA,” he said. “Maybe 95.”

James made a comment during his postgame press conference that implied he may consider retirement this offseason. Whether he’s considering retirement because of his injury or because he’s not sure if the Lakers will be good enough to win the NBA championship next season, or if he’s bluffing is anyone’s guess at this point.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire

Source: Yahoo Sports


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