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LeBron drops 30, then leaves latest Lakers loss with groin injury, MRI coming Phil Knight says Kyrie Irving’s relationship with Nike likely over LeBron day to day with groin strain, but Lakers face much more dire problems at 2-9 Watch D’Angelo Russell forget to check in, Timberwolves play 5-on-4 without him NBA teams, Nike unveil new “City Edition” uniforms for this season

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If Lakers fans thought the situation couldn’t get any worse after their team fell to 2-9 this season, losing their ninth straight game to the Clippers, they were wrong.

LeBron James walked slowly off the court with 5:41 left in the game and headed straight for the dressing room, never to return. After the game the coach Darwin Ham called it leg pain, but it’s a groin entrapment, and LeBron is going to have an MRI on Thursday to determine the severity.

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“I feel good, apart from the injury,” James said after the game via The Associated Press. “Tomorrow we will take a picture of it and go from there. He didn’t do anything difficult in the performance. When I landed, I felt a slight spasm or tension in my groin. Immediately asked to go to the next playdown.

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LeBron said it wasn’t as bad as a 2018 groin injury he suffered over Christmas that kept him out of 17 games. This video looks like a game where LeBron got injured, but it didn’t seem dramatic at the time.

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This season, the Lakers are 8.8 points per 100 possessions behind their rivals when LeBron isn’t playing, any extended absence could see them dig an even deeper hole than the one they’re already in.

Before he left the game, LeBron was one of the Lakers’ few highlights, scoring 30 points to lead the team and hit 4-9-3 against the Clippers. It wasn’t enough, the Clippers got 29 of Paul George, one of only seven Clippers to hit double figures as the Clips led most of the way to a 114–101 win. In this game, the difference in the depth of the lineups was obvious. Norman Powell came off the Clippers’ bench and scored 18 points.

Last Friday, Nike suspended its relationship with Kyrie Irving after his tweet promoting an antisemitic film. Not a big deal, Irving has had a signature shoe line since 2014 and reportedly has a deal with Nike worth over $10 million a season because his shoes are popular.

Nike, most likely, is not going to return to this. Nike co-founder Phil Knight was on CNBC and said the same thing.

“I would doubt that we will return. But I don’t know for sure.”

This week, Irving met with NBA commissioner Adam Silver. On Thursday, Silver told a conference in Washington, DC that he does not consider Irving an anti-Semite, but that this does not justify his actions.

The earliest Irving could return from a suspension is Sunday in Los Angeles against the Lakers, but many in the league expect him to be out longer. How much more is the question. Seaver said that Irving’s return would be “a process” and that the Nets wanted to make it a partnership with him, but there were criteria he had to meet in order to get him back on the court.

Nike is not thinking about the comeback process, they were reportedly ready to drop Irving prior to this latest incident, Knight is now pretending Nike won’t change their mind.

The Lakers are 2-9 down (the worst start in franchise history), they’ve lost four in a row, and their short-term problems keep piling up:

LeBron James questionable Friday night against the Kings after an MRI showed a left adductor sprain (which is a fancy way of saying a groin strain).

After Friday, LeBron is busy from day to day, but with his age, a past groin strain and the fact that this injury often heals slowly, you can expect him to miss more time. Maybe a week or two.

LONG TERM IN LA

These short-term concerns about LeBron seem odd compared to the Lakers’ bigger problem: finding a way to turn this roster into a contender against LeBron. Fast.

The Lakers promised LeBron that they would create just such a team when he signed a contract extension last summer that would keep him with the Lakers until the summer of 2024. composition is not unsuccessful 2-9. New coach Darwin Ham came to preach responsibility, protection and search for a role for Russell Westbrook. So far, the Lakers’ defense is better than last season (though still average), the team is playing tough overall, and Westbrook is playing his best basketball off the bench (18.6 points per game in this role at 60.1) . actual hit rate). However, they have the third-worst net rating in the league.

He poses a dilemma for the Lakers front office to throw two first round picks they can trade right now (2027 and 2029) plus Westbrook and see if they can get enough to make this team respectable this season. rather than wasting the season. from LeBron. Or write off this season, keep their powder dry, and look for a bold move next summer? Chris Haynes details all of this in the Bleacher Report..

The question, which is now often discussed at the Lakers headquarters, is whether they should go all-in as soon as possible to renew the roster around James and Anthony DavisOr should they postpone the massive changes until the end of the season?…

Sources say James, who turns 38 next month and is in his 20th year in the NBA, doesn’t want to waste a season of his high-level playing days in hopes of getting reinforcements for the 2023-2024 campaign. Other major players on the roster would also prefer these picks to be used to boost the team this year…

Sources indicate that the team’s trajectory is heading south, and sources indicate that the front office is unlikely to tie this election to a potential deal, fearing that such a deal would not materially change the course of the season.

Simply put, the Lakers front office is not interested in the much-discussed Buddy Heald/Miles Turner trade with the Pacers because that could make the Lakers a playoff team, but nothing more. And no, the Lakers don’t want to trade Anthony Davis (at least not yet).

The reality is that the Lakers’ plan to build a champion around LeBron and Davis turned out to be fundamentally flawed. When they won the 2020 bubble championship (no star here), LeBron, if not the best player in the league, was in the bottom three. At the same time, in the falling jumper bubble, Davis was clearly in the top 10 players. While fans and the media have focused on how the Lakers front office blasted the 3&D roster around their stars (which was a huge miscalculation), the bigger issue is that no player has been this good since. . Maybe they’re both in the top 15 right now (All NBA level, which might be generous), but even if that’s true, neither of them is in the top 5 players who could anchor a title team. If the Lakers get a third star, they need someone younger, fitter and better than they are now.

Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated said on the SI Crossover NBA Show podcast that other teams’ front office executives think the Lakers were waiting for a particular player.

“When I brought…



Source: nba.nbcsports.com

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