LeBron James out vs. Bucks Tuesday with sore groin
The NBA will miss out on the potential chance to see two of the league’s biggest stars square off on the court as LeBron James will sit out Tuesday’s game against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks with a sore left groin, per The Los Angeles Times’ Tania Ganguli.
That said, it merits noting that a LeBron-Giannis showdown may not have occurred in the first place as the Bucks have deemed Antetokounmpo questionable for Tuesday’s game due to a right ankle sprain.
James, who missed 18 games earlier in the season with a groin injury, was seeing his playing time decrease after the Los Angeles Lakers slipped out of playoff contention. James originally expressed reservations against sitting out any games as the Lakers played out the string in a disappointing season, but he did miss last Friday’s game against the Detroit Pistons for what was deemed “load management.”
There obviously is no benefit for the Lakers to play James down the stretch, especially if his groin is still giving him some issues. Interestingly, Lakers brass reportedly suspected that James was not fully healthy upon his return to the lineup in late January following a career-long stint on the shelf.
The first year of the LeBron James Era in L.A. has been a colossal bust. While there have been signs that James may be slowing down a step or two — and this ongoing groin issue certainly contributes to that growing suspicion — it would be arguably foolish to bet against him at this point.
Odds are an offseason of rest, rehab and refocus — not to mention the Lakers making a splash in free agency or the trade market — and it stands to reason James will make good on the promise envisioned when he first headed to Los Angeles.