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Lakers' LeBron James Says He's '100% Healthy' After Injury-Riddled 2021-22 Season

Doric SamJuly 17, 2022

Cassy Athena/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers star forward LeBron James is looking forward to a fresh start to the 2022-23 season after dealing with multiple injuries last year.

"I'm 100 percent healthy," James told ESPN's Dave McMenamin on Saturday during his appearance in the Drew League.

James missed a total of 26 games last season as the Lakers finished with a disappointing 33-49 record and failed to make the playoffs. The year got off to a rough start when James was slowed by an abdominal strain. The end of the season wasn't much better as a left ankle sprain caused him to miss seven of Los Angeles' final eight games.

The 37-year-old looked like he was in top form Saturday during his 42-point, 16-rebound performance. James shot 18-of-36 from the field and added four steals and three assists. It was his first Drew league appearance since the NBA lockout in 2011.

James was invited to play in L.A.'s renowned pro-am league by Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan, who is a Southern California native and frequently plays in the Drew League. DeRozan put up 30 points on 9-of-23 shooting with 14 rebounds as he and James teamed up to lead their squad to a 104-102 victory.

While James' physical condition is one less thing to worry about, the Lakers still have unanswered questions heading into the 2022-23 season. Star big man Anthony Davis also is coming off an injury-riddled campaign in which he was limited to 40 games. Former Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham was hired as a first-time head coach to replace Frank Vogel.

Los Angeles has also reportedly been pursuing a trade for Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving that would ship out Russell Westbrook and his $47.1 million salary.

A healthy James is sure to help the Lakers improve next season, but it remains to be seen if that would be enough to compete against elite teams and contend for a title.

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