LA Lakers News: LeBron James’ Selfish Push For Personal Stats Has Somehow Made This Laughable Lakers Season Even Worse

LeBron James is doing things at age 37 that no NBA player has ever done. The incredible stats he’s put up over the last few weeks in his attempt to drag the Los Angeles Lakers to the postseason have been nothing short of heroic.

But is he really doing it for a Lakers’ playoff berth? Is there any point in dragging LA to the postseason just for the team to lose in the play-in tournament, or at best, in the first round to the Phoenix Suns?

Or is he pushing his body to the limit to inch closer to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record? Or to move closer to No. 1 in games played? Or to break any other number of career records that are in play?

With any championship hopes eliminated months ago, James is still playing more than 40 minutes per night. He’s doing it to rack up stats. And that’s not even a bad thing.

But he’s pushed his body too far and is now unsurprisingly sidelined with an injury. He’s officially put an already awful Lakers season in jeopardy of (somehow) becoming even worse.

LeBron is currently benched with an ankle injury

LeBron James latest injury news could somehow make this LA Lakers' NBA season even worse.
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts while on the bench during a game against the Phoenix Suns. | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

James has put this Lakers team on his shoulders and, by sheer will, carried it at least into the postseason conversation.

Anthony Davis has missed the majority of the year, and the Russell Westbrook experiment has been an epic (to say the least) failure.

It’s been all LeBron, all the time. And he’s been fantastic.

But The King has played 55 games this year and more than 37 minutes a night. And now, shockingly (sarcasm), LeBron James’ age has caught up with him.

The four-time MVP rolled his ankle in a March 27 game against the New Orleans Pelicans. He missed March 29’s contest against the Dallas Mavericks.

The loss to Luka Doncic and Dallas has officially dropped LA out of the playoffs. The Lakers are tied with the San Antonio Spurs in record but sit 11th in the Western Conference standings.

James and LA would be boarding a plane to a tropical beach if the season ended right now.

LeBron has seven games left to return, put the Lakers on his back again, and aim for the West’s nine or 10 seed. LA’s laughably bad season couldn’t have been avoided — but this specific situation could have.

At age 37, LeBron James has selfishly put himself and the LA Lakers’ season in jeopardy

LBJ is already third all-time in minutes played and is in his 18th NBA season. As they say, father time is undefeated and James is only leading by a few points entering the fourth quarter of that battle.

LeBron leads the league in scoring and has averaged 34.3 points since March 1. He’s added 9.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists a game during that span and has played more than 40 minutes every night he’s taken the floor.

The Lakers are 4-8 in those 12 games.

James’ workload was put into perspective by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on a recent episode of First Take:

LeBron has played more minutes this month than he’s played in any month in eight years. The last time he played this many minutes per game he was in his 20s.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on LeBron James

LeBron is just 1,363 points away from breaking Kareem’s record.

He’s on pace to win his second scoring title.

He’s also in the neighborhood of breaking career records for games played, minutes played, and will likely become the only player in NBA history with more than 40,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, and 10,000 assists.

Maybe James has played this many minutes because he’s just that determined to drag his team to the postseason. It’s a definite possibility.

But it’s also a possibility he’s been using every available minute to pad his career stats. And now, his 37-year-old body is on the bench with an injury.

The Lakers needed LeBron to have any shot at even making the play-in, and now he’s not there.

Missing the play-in tournament would put a fitting bow on the Lakers’ disastrous season

James has missed games here and there this year with different knocks and bruises. But now he’s suffered what coach Frank Vogel called “the latest and maybe biggest blow to our psyche,” per CBSSports.

Bron is already set to miss another game, a March 31 matchup at the Utah Jazz. He’s getting treatment on a swollen ankle, which doesn’t sound like a guaranteed season-ender, but based on what Vogel said, doesn’t sound great either.

Davis remains out. So if James doesn’t return or misses an even bigger chunk of LA’s final few games, it’s up to Westbrook and the likes of Talen Horton-Tucker, Malik Monk, and Carmelo Anthony to bring the Lakers to the play-in.

But if he finally calls it quits on this season because of the ankle injury, LeBron won’t be there to help. That would likely mean the end of any playoff chances the team has.

Falling short of even the play-in tournament would be a fitting end to this Los Angeles Lakers’ season.

All statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference.

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