NEW ORLEANS – Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton said he was staring at LeBron James, but he wanted to finish the season.
The Lakers announced this weekend that James would be out
"He wants to play," Walton said before the Lakers played the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday. Let's make sure you have a healthy summer. '
James, 34, finished the season averaging 27.4 points (tied for fifth in the NBA), 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists (third) in 55 games. NBA Finals berths.
LeBron James wants to be out of the season for the remainder of the season allow his groom to be fully heal, the Lakers said in a statement on Saturday.
Rarely does one moment. The failures of the 2018-19 Los Angeles Lakers started in 2017.
LA's postseason hopes were officially dashed with a 111-106 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on March 22, with 10 games left in the season.
"Why, not that decision made sooner?"
"Well, I think that goes back to him, wanting to compete, "Walton said. "Even though it's over, it's getting on with it, it's getting better and better."
James suffered a slight tear in his left groin on Christmas Day, causing him to miss the Lakers' next 17 games – making it the most significant injury of his 16-year career , Walton said that when he came out of the groin injury, he used the time to receive treatment "two or three times a day" from the Lakers' medical staff.  "Walton said, looking ahead to James" schedule over the final week and a half of the season when he's not on the court.
James joins the Lakers on their final road trip of the season, a two-game jaunt through New Orleans and Oklahoma City, even though he is not playing. Walton said: "I think it's good for the guys."
"I think it's good for the guys," Walton said. There is a lot of new guys, as far as the free agents coming in and whatnot. ' [Walton's point, James sat on.]
Too much time that they would spend on the floor would be beneficial, but any time they can get together on the floor Smoothie King Center on Sunday watching the NCAA tournament with his teammates and bantering about the Duke-Michigan State game.
"They've got them dogs," said Kyle Kuzma, a native of Flint, Michigan, rooting for the Spartans.
Duke's Zion Williamson dunked the ball after an impressive drop step.
"Dog that," said James, who roots for Duke because of his coach, Mike Krzyzewski coached him with USA basketball.
Walton said the final stretch of the season will be difficult without James, but wants to present an opportunity for the rest of his young team.
"It 's going to make it a challenge, but you know, it can be exciting if you guys step up, "he said. LeBron's been a key part of that. "This group, it's been fun, for where we're at, it's been fun to coach this group lately, and the way they've been out there things out differently, but again, everyone's getting a chance to play and try to win some more games. "