LeBron James is officially back. After a number of updates going into the Los Angeles Lakers’ Sunday game against the Chicago Bulls, it was finally revealed that James would be making his long-awaited return to action from a foot injury.
He wouldn’t be starting against the Bulls, however. Likely as a precautionary measure, the Lakers star started the game on the bench.
James would eventually feature in the first quarter and he did so by doing his traditional chalk toss before checking into the game during a free throw. The Los Angeles crowd naturally went crazy during this entire sequence and gave the 38-year-old a standing ovation in the process.
LeBron James with the chalk toss as he checks in for the first time in a month and gets a standing ovation from the Lakers fans at Crypto
It’s only his second time coming off the bench in 1,680 career games (Regular season/Playoffs combined).pic.twitter.com/hAqOAOujsI
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 26, 2023
It was also a unique visual seeing James come off the bench as remarkably, it’s only the second time it’s ever happened. The only other time it happened was during LeBron’s first spell as a Cleveland Cavalier back in 2007. A pretty crazy statistic given that he’s been in the league for 20 years now.
LeBron James’ return is ideal for the Lakers as they continue to push for a playoffs appearance. Despite the four-time NBA champion’s absence in the last month, the Lakers have gone 8-5 and have notably won their last three games.
That sees them currently sit as the No. 8 seed with a 37-37 record. Having finally reached the .500 mark after a truly dreadful start to the regular season, Darvin Ham’s men will be looking to improve their record even further and potentially challenge for sixth spot.
The Golden State Warriors currently occupy that spot with a 39-36 record.
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