NBA Star LeBron James: 'I'll Never Get Back to 100 Percent in My Career' LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a basket during a 137-121 Lakers win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center on March 16, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Harry How/Getty)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Saturday, 01 May 2021 02:22 PM
NBA star LeBron James, who has come under fire in recent weeks over his tweets about the police officer who shot and killed 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant, says he doesn't think he'll ever return to "100 percent" from a right ankle sprain.
"I know getting back to 100% is impossible," the Los Angeles Laker star, 36, now in his 18th season with the NBA, said after the team's 110-106 loss to the Sacramento Kings Friday, reports USA Today.
"I’ll never get back to 100% in my career, but I felt comfortable where I knew I could get on the floor and help my team win.”
James missed his potential game-winning 3-point shot, with 2.7 seconds remaining in the game, and tallied five of the 21 turnovers for his game and said his ankle was “a little tight at times,” but called his overall performance "okay" and his conditioning "pretty good."
He finished out the game with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting, with eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals in 32 minutes.
James’ return after 6 weeks coincides with the Lakers being at 36-27 with a ½ game lead over the Dallas Mavericks for the No. 5 playoff seed. The Lakers have lost five of their last six games and have a one-game cushion over the Portland Trail Blazers, and may have to be in a play-in tournament to play in the postseason.
James, though, said his return has nothing to do with his team's standing and insisted he felt ready to return after being out for 20 games, saying he worked on rehabbing after his injury "a lot more than I slept."
Last week, Trump lambasted James in a statement after the basketball giant, an Ohio native, posted a photograph of Officer Nicholas Reardon, the police officer identified as the person who shot the teenager, and added the words "YOU'RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY."
James pulled the tweet down after an outcry from people who said he was inciting violence against Reardon but did not back down from his outcry over the death.
"LeBron James should focus on basketball rather than presiding over the destruction of the NBA, which has just recorded the lowest television RATINGS, by far, in the long and distinguished history of the League,” Trump said in a statement. “His RACIST rants are divisive, nasty, insulting, and demeaning. He may be a great basketball player, but he is doing nothing to bring our Country together!”