Solomon Hill Responds to Criticism He Intentionally Injured Lakers' LeBron James

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2021

CORRECTS HAWKS PLAYER AT BOTTOM TO SOLOMON HILL, INSTEAD OF TONY SNELL - Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, center, grimaces as he trips and injures himself over Atlanta Hawks forward Solomon Hill, bottom, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, March 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Atlanta Hawks forward Solomon Hill defended himself against allegations he intentionally injured LeBron James during Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers:

solomon hill @solohill

would never disrespect the game and take a player out purposely... he knows that. that’s all that matters to me. praying for a speedy recovery. #riptothementionstho #moredmsthansaweetie

Hill was going after a loose ball in the second quarter when he rolled over James' right ankle, causing him to leave the game early, which the Lakers lost 99-94.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

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

James was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain, per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.

Some weren't happy with Hill after the game, with Dennis Schroder calling it an "unnecessary play."

"We didn't feel like it was a basketball-type of play," Montrezl Harrell told reporters. "...He had to go through his leg to get through the ball."

Hill, an eight-year NBA veteran, said it was an accident.

James joins fellow All-Star Anthony Davis, who has been out since Feb. 14 with a calf strain, on the shelf for the 28-14 Lakers. With James out indefinitely and Joel Embiid also out with an injury, the Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic may now be the MVP front-runner.

The Lakers, who are currently third in the West, face the second-seeded Phoenix Suns on Sunday at 10 p.m. ET.