LeBron James admitted Brandon Ingram’s deep venous thrombosis diagnosis was a reminder not to take opportunities for granted after the undermanned Lakers lost again on Saturday.
James recorded a triple-double in 28 minutes on court, but the struggling Lakers were beaten for a fifth successive game, going down 120-107 to the Celtics.
Ingram was missing after tests on a sore right shoulder revealed the severity of his injury, with the 21-year-old expected to sit out the remainder of the season.
Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma are also sidelined, while Lance Stephenson did not feature against the Celtics due to a sprained toe.
“Our league is all about wins and losses, but when you have something like that happen it puts things in perspective and you understand how important those things are,” James told the media.
“On the flip side, you just don’t take an opportunity for granted when you do get on the floor. Your season can be shut down like ‘BI’ [Ingram] and ‘Zo [Ball]’.”
Final from Los Angeles.
James: 30 pts, 12 ast, 10 reb
Wagner: 22 pts, 6 reb
Williams: 18 pts, 10 reb pic.twitter.com/Gv5sL0HjZL
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 10, 2019
With so many key players missing, a young Lakers lineup failed to keep pace with the Celtics, who saw Kyrie Irving score 30 points as the team picked up its third straight win on the road.
Rookie center Moritz Wagner had 22 points for Los Angeles and Johnathan Williams contributed 18 off the bench, yet the latest defeat further damaged the team’s slim hopes of making the playoffs.
“Every day is another opportunity to learn and experience things,” James said when asked about the Lakers’ youngsters.
“You have to be very patient — they haven’t experienced a lot in this game, there are a lot of things that are new to them and they have to learn on the fly, but the best teacher in life is experience.
“For me to be able to use some of my experience to try to rub off on them. Hopefully, it is rubbing off on them about playing the game the right way and never taking it for granted, giving it everything you got on the floor.
“It’s challenging, but I kind of knew what I was getting into. I didn’t expect to be out for five and a half weeks during a crucial point in our season, and we also didn’t expect the other brain of our team, Rajon Rondo, to also be out for another five and a half weeks — we both got hurt at the same time.
“I think it just took a hit on our team at that point in time, which was a critical point going into the new year.”