Lonzo Ball injury, aging LeBron James set off Lakers’ free fall, says World Peace
MANILA, Philippines—The Los Angeles Lakers have a litany of problems with just 11 games left in their season.
From the impending reality of missing the playoffs for the sixth straight year to superstar LeBron James not going into the postseason for the first time since 2006, the Lakers are a virtual train wreck.
And former Laker Metta World Peace knows what triggered Los Angeles’ collapse from the fourth seed in the NBA’s Western Conference to a disgruntled 10th seed with a 31-40 record.
World Peace, who’s in the Philippines to support his son Jeron Artest in the 2019 NBTC Nationals, said the injuries to Lonzo Ball and James ultimately led to the Lakers’ freefall.
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“Lonzo Ball made the Lakers better and when he got hurt that also hurt the Lakers,” said World Peace Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Ball sprained his left ankle on Jan. 19 in the third quarter against the Houston Rockets a bone spur in that same joint aggravated the injury that put him on the sidelines for an indefinite period.
World Peace added that age finally caught up to James who at 34 is playing his 16th season in the NBA, which includes nine finals runs.
“LeBron’s a really good player and why he couldn’t do it, I’m very shocked on how it turned out,” said World Peace who won the 2010 title with the Lakers. “He had them at fourth place and he’s not perfect, nobody is.”
“He’s [James] not playing defense right now but he’s 35-years-old and he’s not 25-years-old anymore. But you know what, with that being said, he’ll be back.”
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