LeBron James tested his ankle Tuesday night and while it didn’t fail, it did not pass.
Now, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ superstar will sit out the preseason finale Friday at Orlando — and perhaps (gasp) the regular season opener against Kyrie Irving and the dreaded Boston Celtics.
“He was experiencing soreness so he won’t practice (Thursday), he won’t play on Friday, either,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue told reporters. “So, um, (James is) pretty mad, pretty pissed off. But I mean, it is what it is.”
As for the season opener, Lue merely hinted that James could be out. But LeBron playing is the safest bet. He hasn’t missed an opener in his 14-year career. So if he really, really needs to rest the ankle, it may not happen happen until Game No. 2 of the regular season (at Milwaukee).
After all, Irving and the Celtics only come to Cleveland once.
“But it’s pretty sore today,” Lue said. “So we’ll just see what happens.”
James scored 17 points to lead the Cavs in Tuesday’s loss to the Chicago Bulls. He looked good, looked fluid, and even threw down some violent one-handed dunks. He was never timid, driving to the basket and creating contact.
But he also landed awkwardly, or stepped on someone’s foot — or something not good. James remained in the game after and continued to play well. Still, the ankle wasn’t 100 percent, James admitted.
“I knew I was off,” he said after the game.
Actually, the entire team was fairly off, with Kevin Love and Dwyane Wade looking out of sorts and missing shots. Overall, the Cavs’ offense too often crawled to a crowded halt.
Fittingly, Lue said changes are on the way.
“You want to see what works,” he told reporters. “So we kind of scrapped some of the stuff we’ve been doing and we’re going to just go in a different direction offensively with that first unit.”