‘Be Responsible’: Lakers’ Frank Vogel Drops a Major LeBron James Return Update

Published 04/30/2021, 9:55 PM EDT
Mar 16, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) wears a face mask in the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The Lakers are in a tough situation after losing four of their last five games. The defending champions now stand close to a negligible chance to break it into the Top Four and face a danger of slipping even further down. Now, more than ever, they need LeBron James back in the playing squad. 

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As refreshing news, the update on the Akron Hammer signals that he might make his much-awaited return against the Kings tonight. If that happens, it’ll be a major boost for the Lakers who are struggling big time.

Coach Frank Vogel with an optimistic update on LeBron James

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Lakers’ injured forward LeBron James speaks with teammates against the Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

In an update, The Athletic’s Shams Charania claimed that King James can show up against the Kings, given the warmups go well. Also, coach Frank Vogel has hinted positive news on Bron’s comeback and hinted no hard minute restrictions on the 36-YO veteran. As an addition to the breaking news, the coach signaled that they’re yet to decide whether he can play back-to-backs down the stretch.

Notably, LeBron James injured his ankle against the Hawks on March 20. So, it has been 40 days since he last played a game, his longest ever since the 2018-19 season when he joined the Lake Show. 

So, for coach Vogel to show such confidence in Bron’s return, imposing no restrictions, is a surprise given the 20 games he has missed. Still, the catch is with the “be responsible” phrase because the four-time champion would not risk his playoff fitness for regular games.

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What all did the Lakers lose in the meantime? 

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The LA-based franchise became a sloth without their floor general. Their games against the Nets and the Jazz being the exception, the team remained 8-12 in the 40-day stretch. Also, they struggled in almost every department because of the L-Train’s absence.

Since March 20, the Lakers’ shooting accuracy has plummeted by 3.4%, their points per game have taken a hit, the turnovers have become a problem, and the assist figures have also gone down.

Moreover, the team has a new entrant in Andre Drummond, and the Lakers would want Bron to spend enough time with him before the postseason. As of today, the Lakers have 10 more games to go, and they would need win streaks if they’re to safeguard themselves from sliding out of the Top Six.

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Do you think LeBron James can pull the Lakers from here? Help us know your views in the comments.

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Sourabh Singh

1117 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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