Los Angeles (AFP)
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, “The King”, refused to undergo surgery on his right foot, so that he could lead his team in the last breath race to the “Playoff” elimination rounds in the NBA.
And “King” James, returning to the stadiums after 4 weeks of absence (13 matches), explained during the press conference after his team lost to the Chicago Bulls 108-118, that he had suffered a tendon rupture, but he refused to undergo surgery.
Despite reaching the age of 38, James scored 19 points, picked up 8 rebounds and passed 3 assists against Chicago, in only his second game, starting from the bench in his long 20-year career in the league.
And 7 matches before the end of the regular season competitions, the Lakers occupy ninth place in the Western Region, which entitles them to enter the qualifying playoffs to the playoffs, in light of the intense competition between the region’s teams, as only two wins separate the seventh and twelfth places.
In the absence of James, the Lakers achieved a series of 8 victories against 5 defeats, as the team could still qualify directly for the “Playoff”.
Doubts arose about James’ participation against the Bulls, before he decided to play after testing his ability during the warm-up period.
“Now it’s a daily thing,” said the four-time league champion. “The most important thing for me was Monday morning. When I get up and get out of bed, we’ll see what happens.”
For his part, Lakers coach Darvin Ham welcomed the return of the team leader, who wrote his name last month in the record books, after he became the best scorer in the history of the league.
James missed a total of 27 games this season due to various physical problems, which is the largest number of matches in one season since he joined the NBA in 2003.
On the field and despite his age, James is a phenomenal performer as the stats show, with averages of 29.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists.
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