Dwyane Wade says any talk about how the Los Angeles Lakers missed the playoffs in their first season with LeBron James must include a caveat about his longtime friend and former teammate's groin injury.
Speaking with Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic, Wade noted the Lakers were firmly in the Western Conference postseason race before the four-time NBA MVP missed five weeks because of the injury.
"LeBron's not a guy that is accustomed to losing and not making the playoffs," he said. "Obviously, man, those 18 games that he was out hurt with them, it's kind of a wash. You can't even really talk about him not making the playoffs, because of that. They was the fourth seed when he went out. It's unfortunate."
The Lakers were 19-14 heading into a game against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas. James was injured in that contest, and by the time he returned, L.A. had dropped to 26-25, which was two games out of the final playoff spot in the West.