LeBron James says he is ready for the Los Angeles Lakers game against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, despite a curled left ankle at the season opener.
“I’ll be ready tomorrow on Christmas Day,” James told reporters on Thursday. “I’ve never missed a game on Christmas Day and I don’t plan to miss one tomorrow.”
James skipped the final eight minutes of the Lakers’ loss to the LA Clippers on Tuesday against 116-109 after rolling his ankle, but stated after the game that he wanted to play against Dallas.
His ankle buckled when his sneaker appeared to be hanging in the square when he and Markieff Morris got together at the Ivica Zubac Clippers Center to defend the tall man in the color.
James left the game 7:51 in the fourth quarter and the Lakers 99-92. He finished with 22 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 turnovers in 28 minutes.
He went into the experience of playing in games on Christmas Day.
“People have opened their presents. Everyone is excited. It’s a day of giving for many of us,” said James. “And when I was at the Staples Center, I had the opportunity to play here at Christmas as a Laker and also as an opponent. It’s just a nice feeling to be here.
“But it’s not the same without the Laker believers, without the fans, without the celebrity series, without the bright lights. It’s just a whole different feeling. It’s just basketball, which is fine. But our game is entertainment too . And when you’re out there, you’re hoping to entertain some people live too. But we have to. Hopefully we know we’re going to make a mark while they watch the game. “
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.