Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James returned to the lineup on Friday night after missing 20 consecutive games and sitting out six weeks. James, a four-time NBA champion, returned to the Lakers lineup against the Sacramento Kings and had a solid performance.
James scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out seven assists and collected two steals but it wasn't enough. James also had a chance to give the Lakers a win but he missed a game-winning three pointer as the Kings escaped with a 110-106 win.
James, who led the Lakers last season to their first NBA Championship since 2010, felt OK in his first game in a month and a half. "For my first game in six weeks, I felt OK," James said, per ESPN. "As far as my wind, I felt pretty good.
As far as my ankle, it was a little tight at times, obviously. ... But I came out unscathed and pretty good. So, it's a good start."
James was eager to get back to the court
Missing a month and a half and 20 consecutive games was the biggest layoff of James' career.
The Lakers have lost five of their six last games and they are desperate to catch a good form ahead of the playoffs. "It's only nine games left," James said. "It's just been ... it's been a hell of a season, obviously.
... But we look forward to the challenge. It is what it is. This is the season, and we've got to make the most out of it. "It's been urgency for me to get back ever since I got injured. So, that's just who I am. You guys could have seen the logging of the minutes and hours per day that I was doing as far as rehab and treatment, it was a lot more than I slept.
So, over the last six weeks, that's all I've been doing, is having an urgency to get back and play." James acknowledged he will never return to 100 percent. "I knew I wasn't going to get back to 100%.
It's impossible," he said. "I don't think I will ever get back to 100% in my career." James lost his first game back but still he was happy that he was able to play. "It was horrible, honestly, for me.
I was more stressful than I've ever been," James said. "But I'm happy I'm playing now, so a little stress relief."