LeBron James isn’t going to let a tweaked ankle keep him from taking the court on Christmas Day.
The Los Angeles Lakers star, who rolled his ankle in their season-opening loss to the Clippers on Tuesday, said Thursday that he will be “ready to go” when they host Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.
"I'll be ready to go tomorrow on Christmas Day," James said Thursday, via ESPN. "I've never missed a Christmas Day game, and I don't plan on missing one tomorrow."
Man I’m excited for tomorrow’s Xmas Day game! Like my kids, might be hard for me to sleep tonight too! Lol.🤷🏾♂️
— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 25, 2020
LeBron James tweaked ankle in season opener
James rolled his left ankle in the second half on Tuesday after attempting to block Clippers big man Ivica Zubac right in front of the rim.
— TimeoutSPORTS__ (@TimeoutSPORTS3) December 23, 2020
James finished with a team-high 22 points, five rebounds and five assists in the loss, and played just more than 28 minutes. The 36-year-old sat out the final eight minutes of the game, too, but didn’t seem to think it would impact him too much long term.
"I'll go home and have dinner right now," James said after the game, via ESPN. "I'll ice it, and I'll drink some wine that will flow right to the ankle ... I can make sure I can drink on the left side of my body so it just goes right down to my left leg, right down to my ankle. But I'll be around the clock. I'll wake up [Wednesday] morning before I leave the house, and also I'll get some more treatment at the facility and just continue to do that.
"Like I said, we have a couple days, so I'll be fine."
And while it won’t be the same without fans inside the Staples Center on Friday night, James knows how special and important a Christmas Day game really is.
"People have opened their gifts. Everyone is excited. It's a day of giving for a lot of us," James said Thursday, via ESPN. "And then being at Staples Center, I've gotten the opportunity to play here on Christmas as a Laker and also as an opponent. It's just a beautiful feeling being here.
"But it's not the same without the Laker faithful, without the fans, without celebrity row, without the bright lights. It's just a totally different feeling. It's just strictly basketball, which is fine. But our game is entertainment as well. And when you're out there, you hope to entertain some people live as well. But we have to do it. Hopefully we know we're making a mark while they're watching the game."
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