LeBron James will miss the Los Angeles Lakers clash against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday at Crypto.com Arena, due to lingering soreness and swelling in his left knee.

The Lakers made the announcement early on Wednesday afternoon. As per usual, he had been listed as questionable. In recent weeks, LeBron has typically tested out his knee pre-game before determining whether to suit up.

Los Angeles hasn't played since Monday's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, and won't play again until Sunday, when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans. It's plausible the opportunity to get nearly six days of rest factored into LeBron's decision (and it is his decision) to pass on facing a grueling Sixers defense.

Unfortunately, LeBron's absence means that we won't get to see him and Embiid — currently running neck-and-neck for the scoring title — try to one-up each other on national TV.

LeBron has been magnificent as of late. Over the past three games, he's averaged 37.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 8.3 assists, seasoned with highlight-reel slams, clutch theatrics, and milestone-reaching moments.

The Sixers bout will be the second game LeBron has missed since returning from a six-game absence due to knee pain in early February. You can go here to read more about LeBron's knee injury, which he admitted won't fully recover until the offseason. On Monday, he cited his “joy” for the game as a reason for not shutting it down. At 37, he's vying to become the oldest player in NBA history to win the scoring title.

LeBron's absence is yet another momentum-stopper for the Lakers in a season full of buzzkills. Los Angeles (31-41, ninth in the West) are coming off an encouraging road trip that featured some of their smoothest, most cohesive, and inspired basketball of the season.


The Lakers are 6-13 without LeBron in 2021-22.