The Los Angeles Lakers are out of playoff contention and are thus throwing the towel in on the 2018-19 campaign. With their decision to shift focus to next season, the team had announced their decision to hold out LeBron James for the remainder of the year.
The Lakers star will be sidelined for the team's final seven games of the season in what seems to be a precautionary move for the team.
Lakers statement: “After consulting with our team doctors and medical staff, we have decided to hold LeBron out of games for the remainder of the season. This decision will allow his groin to fully heal, and is best for the future success of both LeBron and the Lakers.”— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 30, 2019
In the team's official statement, the Lakers claim the decision will "allow his groin to fully heal" and is "best for the future success of both LeBron and the Lakers."
The Lakers' dream season could not have gone worse, as not only did the team fail to meet its lofty expectations, but they were constantly making headlines for the wrong reasons.
Whether it be LeBron's effort to recruit superstars to Los Angeles, the apparent lack of locker room chemistry, or Luke Walton's ineffectiveness as the team's head coach, it's safe to label the team as a major disappointment.
Lakers are sitting out LeBron James for the rest of the season, team says.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 30, 2019
James' debut season in Los Angeles will be marked as a failure, though he is on the books for three more years and the team is hoping to make a big splash in free agency.
James played in 55 games for the team this season, averaging 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists. He missed 18 games with a groin injury that he suffered on Christmas Day against the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers were in fourth in the West at the time of his injury, but had fallen to eighth by the time LeBron was ready to return.