Lakers' LeBron James: Comments About Being 100% After Injury 'Blown Out of Context'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 15, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 15: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball during the game against the Indiana Pacers on May 15, 2021 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James said in late April that he didn't suspect he would ever get back to 100 percent health after recovering from a high right ankle sprain, which wouldn't be a shock considering his age (36) and the wear and tear he's dealt with during his career. 

But on Saturday, he said those comments took on a life of their own. 

"Whatever I say gets blown out of context," he told reporters. "As soon as I step on an NBA floor for the first time, I went to 99.9 percent."

He told reporters two weeks ago: "I knew I wasn't going to get back to 100 percent. It's impossible. I don't think I will ever get back to 100 percent in my career."

There comes a point in any NBA veteran's career where getting back to 100 percent simply won't happen. But James' durability has been one of his calling cards, given how many long playoff and title runs he's led and his ability to play like a superstar well into his 30s.  

But since he joined the Lakers, the injury bug has bitten. He missed 27 games in the 2018-19 season before leading the team to a title last year. But this year he's missed 28 games, and alongside a lengthy stint on the sidelines for Anthony Davis, the Lakers (41-30) have dropped to the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference and a potential berth in the play-in tournament. 

Granted, a win in their final game (Sunday vs. the New Orleans Pelicans) and a Portland Trail Blazers loss would get the Lakers back up to the No. 6 seed. James—who has both liked and disliked the concept of a play-in tournament in recent years—said the team would be fine either way. 

“Let the chips fall where they may," he told reporters Saturday. "We’re ready to go."