Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James had several injuries throughout his 18-year career, but nothing is as major and impactful as his groin tear in 2018 that effectively cost LA the season.
James, for his part, acknowledged that the groin injury from his first year with the Lakers is the worst of his career. What’s worse is that it happened on a Christmas Day game–of all days–and against his biggest rivals at the time, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.
“I tore my groin two years ago playing on Christmas Day in Golden State … I could not keep playing … it was over with,” LeBron said during his recent appearance on the Smartless podcast, via Mike Trudell of Lakers.com.
LeBron James did have another major injury during the 2020-21 season, sustaining a high ankle sprain that forced him to sit 20 straight games. However, his 2018 injury was particularly noteworthy since LA fell from the standings and missed the playoffs that time due to the King’s absence.
James had to sit out 17 games in a row during that time, and LA suffered big time and went 6-11 during that stretch. It is worth noting that the Purple and Gold franchise didn’t have AD yet, with the best player behind LeBron being Brandon Ingram.
The Lakers’ young core headed by Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma just didn’t have enough to keep the team afloat. The team finished with a 37-45 record, which is only good for 10th in the tough West.
The franchise has since bounced back from that debacle and even won the NBA title the following year, but given what they could have accomplished in his first campaign in LA, it’s no wonder why James can’t forget his horrible groin injury.