Lakers star LeBron James’ injury rant gets strong statement from NBA
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James recently went on an explosive rant criticizing the NBA for not listening on his concerns about injuries. In response, the league has released a statement regarding the truth about the slew of injuries this 2020-21 season.
In the wake of Kawhi Leonard’s knee sprain that is said to rule him out for the rest of the Los Angeles Clippers’ series against the Utah Jazz, LeBron took it to Twitter to share his disappointment with the NBA. According to the Lakers forward, he predicted before the season started that there would be several injuries because of the condensed schedule, but his warnings fell to deaf ears.
“They all didn’t wanna listen to me about the start of the season,” James wrote in a series of Tweets. “I knew exactly what would happen. I only wanted to protect the well being of the players which ultimately is the PRODUCT & BENEFIT of OUR GAME! These injuries isn’t just ‘PART OF THE GAME.’ It’s the lack of PURE RIM REST rest before starting back up. 8, possibly 9 ALL-STARS has missed Playoff games(most in league history). This is the best time of the year for our league and fans but missing a ton of our fav players. It’s insane. If there’s one person that know about the body and how it works all year round it’s ME! I speak for the health of all our players and I hate to see this many injuries this time of the year. Sorry fans wish you guys were seeing all your fav guys right now.”
Given the influence and following of the Lakers star, his tweets quickly went viral and apparently reached the NBA headquarters.
Less than a day after LeBron’s remarks, the league office through its spokesman in Mike Bass addressed the issue regarding the injuries and how the schedule has affected it. According to the NBA, however, their data prove that there isn’t much difference from the number of injuries this 2020-21 compared to seasons past.
“Injury rates were virtually the same this season as they were during 2019-20 while starter-level and All-Star players missed games due to injury at similar rates as the last three seasons,” Bass said, per Marc Stein of the New York Times.
“While injuries are an unfortunate reality of our game, we recognize the enormous sacrifices NBA players and teams have made to play through this pandemic.”
While no specific numbers are mentioned, it is worth noting that Leonard became the eighth All-Star to miss a game in the 2021 playoffs due to an injury–which is by far the most in league history. This is probably where LeBron James is coming from, as the injuries continue to pile up in the playoffs.
The Lakers were victims of the injury bug as well, with Anthony Davis suffering a groin injury during their first-round series with the Phoenix Suns.
Even though the NBA insists there isn’t much change, the eye test says otherwise. As more and more star players go down to injuries, it is becoming quite clear there were a lot of problems with the league’s scheduling and planning for the season.