LeBron James developed a reputation as one of the toughest players in NBA history. He played over 80 games each season in his first 15 years as a player until an injury limited his 2018-2019 season to 55 games. He also missed the game against the Houston Rockets on Thursday night due to "soreness" in his groin area.
James is 36 this year, and his age is starting to show. His nagging groin injury has bothered him since last year, and he missed a couple of games this season due to it.
The Lakers lost to the Rockets 113-97. The lopsided scoreboard is already a bad omen for the Lakers, but when you factor in the 8-man rotation used by the Rockets that doesn't include Russell Westbrook who's out for the rest of the season due to a knee injury, it's actually worse than it seems.
According to Lakers Daily, it's unclear how long James will sit-out the round-robin games and the playoffs right after it. The Lakers have already clinched the top spot in the Western Conference in-spite of losing 3 out of their 5 games in the NBA restart.
James is also unhappy about some of the "conditions" in the NBA-Disney bubble in Orlando, but refused to mention any specific off-court issue.
It looks like the NBA is exercising "load management" for James. The controversial term refers to giving players a "night-off," a practice that received some flak from fans for not seeing top NBA superstars on the floor. After all, the stars are the whole reason why they pay tickets to watch games.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel says that fans should expect James back in the line-up soon. Anyway, the Lakers are aiming for a deep playoff run this year, including a fair chance of winning the championship.
If the Lakers do win a championship, It will be LeBron's fourth title and the third team he played for to win the Larry O' Brien trophy. It will also be the 17th championship of the Minneapolis-Los Angeles Lakers, tying the Boston Celtics with the most championships in the league of all time.