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LeBron James to miss rest of the season for Lakers

By
Matt Loede
Los Angeles forward LeBron James is going to sit the rest of the season to help him heal from his injuries. File photo by Rhona Wise/EPA-EFE
Los Angeles forward LeBron James is going to sit the rest of the season to help him heal from his injuries. File photo by Rhona Wise/EPA-EFE

March 30 (UPI) -- The season is over for LeBron James. The Los Angeles Lakers star will sit for the rest of the season starting Sunday in New Orleans.

The Lakers announced Saturday that James will not suit up for the last six games of the year, citing that they want him to "fully heal" from ongoing injuries.

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At 34-42, Los Angeles is in the 11th spot in the NBA's Western Conference, and for the first time since the 2004-05 season James will not take part in the NBA postseason.

"After consulting with our team doctors and medical staff, we have decided to hold LeBron out of games for the remainder of the season," the statement, issued by Lakers president of basketball operations Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, said. "This decision will allow his groin to fully heal, and is best for the future success of both LeBron and the Lakers."

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It is the sixth straight season that the Lakers are not going to be in the playoffs, a trend the team was hoping to reverse when they signed James over the summer.

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James' first season with the Lakers has been difficult, as he missed five weeks of action nursing a strained left groin from late December till February.

Earlier this month, James, 34, told ESPN that he had no plans to shut down for the remainder of the season, even though the Lakers' hopes of a playoff spot were dim.

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Once it was apparent that the Lakers were not going to challenge for a postseason spot, they began to rest James on the second nights of back-to-back games.

This season James averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game, playing in just over 35 minutes a game.

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