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On this date: LeBron James returns from ankle injury

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It may be easy to forget, but just a year ago, the Los Angeles Lakers were considered by plenty of people to be the favorite to capture the NBA championship.

They started the season 21-6 despite being somewhat on cruise control following a very short offseason, but then disaster struck.

Anthony Davis suffered a calf strain and an Achilles ailment that sidelined him for several weeks, and the team started to head south.

It looked like LeBron James was stabilizing things just after the All-Star break, but on March 20, the Atlanta Hawks’ Solomon Hill collided with him, and he suffered a severely sprained ankle.

L.A. barely managed to tread water without its two superstars, but on April 30, James returned for a contest versus the Sacramento Kings.

Davis had recently started playing again himself, and it looked like the Lakers could be poised for an underdog run at back-to-back titles.

James was sidelined again after two games, but he came back for L.A.’s last two contests, and he was starting to round into form, putting up 24 points, seven rebounds and eight assists versus the Indiana Pacers.

Ultimately, it was additional injuries that did the Lakers in, as Davis hurt his groin after they took a 2-1 series lead over the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs.

L.A. lost the next three games without him, ending its season prematurely.

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Lakers have asked for permission to interview Darvin Ham