After Monday night’s 113-105 loss to crosstown rivals the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Lakers’ chances of making the playoffs aren’t looking good. Coach Luke Walton’s team sits in 10th place in the Western Conference, 5 1/2 games behind the eighth-place San Antonio Spurs.
Despite the uphill battle ahead of them, star forward LeBron James insists he won’t sit out any games for the remainder of the regular season.
“That would take a lot of convincing from Luke [Walton] on up,” James told ESPN‘s Dave McMenamin. “Unless I’m hurt, I’m not sitting games.”
James’ absence from the court was especially felt at the beginning of the calendar year. The three-time champion suffered a left groin strain during the third quarter of the Lakers’ Christmas Day victory against the Golden State Warriors. The injury sidelined him for 18 games, and the Lakers experienced a string of come-from-behind wins and heartbreaking losses.
In his first game back from injury on Jan. 31, James led his team to a 123-120 overtime victory against the Clippers. After the win, James emphasized how desperate he was to get back to playing to his full potential.
Lakers’ LeBron James after missing 17 games with a groin injury: “I didn’t come here to sit on the bench. I love clothes. I love suits. But I didn’t come here to put on a suit every day, I came to put on a jersey.” pic.twitter.com/wbCUyNQWRt
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) February 1, 2019
“I didn’t come here to sit on the bench. I love clothes. I love suits. But I didn’t come here to put on a suit every day. I came to put on a jersey,” he said.
James also mentioned on Monday night that no one has spoken with him regarding the option to forgo playing in order to increase the Lakers’ lottery chances in the upcoming draft.
“That conversation hasn’t occurred, but I’m sure it can happen soon,” the Ohio native said.
When asked what will be the catalyst behind finishing the remaining 18 games on a positive note, James noted his professionalism as the primary motive.
“For me personally, I can [only] speak for myself,” the four-time NBA MVP explained. “Continue to be a professional, and be as great as you can be every single night, no matter the circumstances. ‘Cause someone is always watching.”
LeBron James finished Monday night’s contest with 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists, playing a total of 42 minutes.
More from Yahoo Sports: