After practice Friday, LeBron James stood near the free-throw line closest to the Lakers’ offices facing a group of people. Coach Frank Vogel was there, as were assistants Jason Kidd, Lionel Hollins, Miles Simon and Mike Penberthy. General manager Rob Pelinka wandered over at some point.
It didn’t appear to be a serious conversation. There were occasional laughs and a generally casual disposition. Most of his teammates were leaving the court. James had just participated in the no-contact portion of that day’s practice. Later, he stayed after practice to shoot threes, cursing himself when he missed.
The groin contusion that has James listed as questionable for Saturday’s game at Portland didn’t seem to be of grave concern. He was also questionable heading into the Lakers’ Christmas Day loss to the Clippers, but the injury report listed a thoracic muscle strain as his injury. That injury has been removed from the report. James declined to speak to reporters Friday.
“We’ll see how he’s feeling,” Vogel said. “If he wakes up and goes into the gym tomorrow and feels 100 percent and there’s no pain, and he wants to play, we’re gonna play him. But certainly if he’s limited or at risk, then we’re gonna be intelligent.”
James missed five weeks last season because of a tear on the left side of his groin. James said Wednesday night this groin injury is on the other side of his body.
Anthony Davis, who suffered a right knee injury Sunday, is listed as probable for the game in Portland. Davis played Wednesday against the Clippers and participated fully in Friday’s practice.
“Feels good,” Davis said when asked about his knee Friday. “Feels real good.”
The Lakers have played only one game this season without James — a 24-point loss to the Denver Nuggets.
“We’ll definitely look at that game,” Vogel said. “That was sort of the next-man-up blueprint we had. We didn’t win that game or play well. So, we’ll definitely look at that and just look at the matchup as well with Portland and make the decisions about what we got to do to win the next one.”