LeBron James appears to leave the court with nearly five minutes remaining in the Lakers Game 5 loss to the Suns.
James supports his teammates plenty, so let’s not be quick to judge the 36-year-old for getting a head start on his postgame routine. Heck, if the Lakers are going to have any chance to come back in this series, they’ll need James at 100 percent and perhaps with a few years removed.
Los Angeles’ training staff has a tough task on its hands. At this point in the season, every team is dealing with injuries, but the Lakers best two players — and two of the top talents in all of basketball — are clearly ailing. Anthony Davis didn’t even play in Game 5, of course.
Video of James leaving the court has gone viral on social media for the wrong reasons.
NBA Playoffs: LeBron James receiving plenty of flack
If James did leave the court early, he likely had his reasons. But one can understand the average basketball fan doesn’t need much ammunition to poke fun at the King.
Vogel explained James’ predicament, and that he had the blessing of the Lakers coaching staff. Of course, no one in Vogel’s shoes is going to tell the best player of his generation no.
If LeBron responds in Game 6, then the Lakers can put all this behind them. If not, perhaps we have some questions to ask.