Lakers' Kyle Kuzma on LeBron James' Injury: Never Heard Him Scream Like That

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIMarch 20, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James holds his ankle after going down with an injury during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks Saturday, March 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Kyle Kuzma has spent three seasons as teammates with LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers and never saw the superstar react to an injury the way he did Saturday.

After Atlanta Hawks forward Solomon Hill landed awkwardly on James' ankle, the 36-year-old let out a roar that caught Kuzma off guard. 

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Bron appears to turn his ankle, stays in the game and hits a three, then heads to the locker room https://t.co/OdTrDW77o1

"I haven't seen him scream and scowl like that probably ever," Kuzma told reporters after the Lakers fell 99-94.

James was able to get back up and hit a three-pointer, but he left the floor shortly after and did not return. He'll be receiving an MRI on his right ankle later Saturday. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported X-rays were negative on James' ankle but the MRI results will take more time to come back. 

The small forward was on the floor for just 11 minutes and posted 10 points and four assists before the injury. James has been notably healthy this year despite the shortest offseason in NBA history following their Finals victory over the summer, participating in 40 of 42 contests through Saturday. 

That stretch may be coming to an end, and the rest of the Lakes are none too thrilled about it. 

Big man Montrezl Harrell said Hill's actions were "not a basketball play" and, while he didn't call the injury intentional, believes referees should be able to review the incident to determine if it was flagrant. 

Any amount of time James misses to recover will put an already-short-handed Lakers team at a significant disadvantage. Los Angeles is already dealing with injuries to Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol and Jared Dudley. 

Los Angeles is playing .500 basketball over its last 16 games and will need James available to correct course before the playoffs.