LBJ did play after the All-Star break yesterday, but he didn’t look quite like himself.
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James’s recording-tying 19th All-Star Game appearance last weekend in Utah was disrupted when he suffered a right hand contusion on a defensive play late into the (very boring) exhibition game’s first half.
After the half, James departed the contest for good. He downplayed the severity of the ailment in a postgame conversation with reporters.
“[Team LeBron coach Micahel] Malone is a defensive-minded coach. And I had him in my early days in Cleveland. I told him I would get one stop tonight for him. I tried to get one little chase down block and got my finger caught in the rim,” James reflected. “I’ll be fine. I don’t think it’s too much to worry about.”
That’s encouraging news, although his shot looked a bit shaky in his first game back after the Salt Lake City sojourn.
Per Rachel Nichols of Showtime, James departed the game after the first half mostly as a precaution. He did suit up for LA’s first game following the All-Star break, a big Thursday win against the Golden State Warriors, although he had a pretty inefficient shooting night from the floor, and scored a mere 13 points on just 5-of-20 shooting from the floor, though he did finish one rebound and two assists short of a triple-double.
He has several days off before LA’s next bout, against his former Cleveland Cavaliers colleague Kyrie Irving and the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.
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