Frank Vogel has interesting remark about LeBron James’ absence
LeBron James is once again sidelined with an ankle injury, and he has not been on the bench with the Los Angeles Lakers since he sat out the end of last Sunday’s game against the Toronto Raptors with lingering soreness. According to Lakers coach Frank Vogel, there is no medical reason for LeBron to be staying away from the team.
LeBron was not on the bench for the Lakers’ last two games against the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers. He is not expected to travel with the team to face the Trail Blazers in Portland on Friday night, either. When asked why after Thursday’s blowout loss to the Clippers, Vogel had an interesting response.
Frank Vogel said that LeBron's absence from the Lakers' last two games against Denver and LAC was not medically related. When asked for the reason James was not present, Vogel said, "He's just not here." Added that James was at shootaround Thursday but will not join team in POR
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 7, 2021
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reports that LeBron’s absences were considered excused to give him time to “stay off the ankle.” If that is the case, it’s unclear why Vogel didn’t say it.
LeBron is undoubtedly frustrated. He missed roughly six weeks with a sprained ankle before returning, only to experience soreness and have to shut it down again. He is likely doing everything he can to rest and rehab before the playoffs, which is why it was strange that Vogel didn’t just call the absence injury related.
We have already heard some bad news about LeBron’s health going forward, so the last thing the team needs is the media questioning whether the four-time MVP should be joining his teammates on the bench. Vogel’s remark created some awkwardness, at the very least.