LeBron James' first season in Los Angeles will not have a perfect Hollywood ending. Yesterday, it was announced that after consulting with doctors, the Lakers have decided to shut James down for the remainder of the season—his shortest as a pro. The announcement marks the end of a disappointing initial effort to bring 'Showtime' back to LA, the year marred by suspensions, injuries, trade rumors and off-court distractions.
Both the peak and valley of the 2018-19 Lakers' season occurred on Christmas Day, when James took the court across from a familiar foe—the Golden State Warriors. In an unlikely turn of events, the ragtag Lakers blitzed the defending champions, winning 127-101 at home. However, in the third quarter, James suffered a strained left groin that cost him the next 17 games and, ultimately, the Lakers' season.
James famously tried to re-activate playoff mode following the All-Star break, but it was clear that he didn't have the same bounce in his step that he did pre-Christmas Day and the all-in trade offer made by the Lakers for Anthony Davis had shaken the team's chemistry. They quickly stumbled out of the postseason race and the franchise opted to preserve its star for another run next season.
The decision signals an abrupt end to the on-court run for the Nike LeBron 16, James' latest signature sneaker. While the king rests up for a seventeenth campaign, here's a look back at every pair of LeBron 16s (and the one Air Max LeBron 7) he took the court in this past season.