Kings

NBA rumors: LeBron James likely out 'several games' with groin injury

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NBA rumors: LeBron James likely out 'several games' with groin injury

LeBron James is human. For the first time in 156 games (including the postseason), he'll miss a game his team is playing.

The Los Angeles Lakers star officially is listed as out for Thursday night’s game against the Kings because of a groin strain he suffered on Christmas Day against the Warriors.

But the Lakers fear King James will miss more than just one game.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst reported that the 14-time All-Star suffered a significant left groin strain, and Los Angeles is preparing for him to miss "several games."

Following Thursday’s game against Sacramento, the Lakers play the LA Clippers on Friday night before having a rematch with the Kings on Sunday. It appears there is a good chance LeBron will miss that game against De’Aaron Fox and Co. as well.

At 20-14, the Lakers sit in fourth place in the Western Conference standings, 2.5 games behind the first-place Warriors and two games ahead of the ninth-place Kings. 

If James is forced to miss time, this could open a window for playoff hopefuls such as the Kings to gain ground -- or playoff locks such as the Warriors to gain separation -- in the tightly packed West.

The Warriors don’t play the Lakers again until Jan. 21, when it is presumed LeBron will have returned. 

Kings' De'Aaron Fox to miss final preseason game with sore lower back

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Kings' De'Aaron Fox to miss final preseason game with sore lower back

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings held their breath Monday evening in Utah when young star point guard De’Aaron Fox went to the bench with 10:20 remaining in the third quarter. 

Already shorthanded at point guard with Cory Joseph nursing a sore calf muscle, Kings coach Luke Walton turned to Bogdan Bogdanovic to run the show.

The initial diagnosis given during the game was a sore lower back for Fox. On Tuesday afternoon, the team updated the 21-year-old’s status.

Fox will miss the team’s preseason game Wednesday against Melbourne United, but just as a precaution. He is expected to be ready when the regular season opens next week in Phoenix against the Suns. 

[RELATED: Kings guards Fox, Hield relive scoring first NBA baskets]

After posting 17.3 points and 7.3 assists per game last season, Fox has shown plenty of growth in the early preseason. Through four games, he’s averaging 14.5 points and six assists in 26.8 minutes per game in Walton’s system.

Fox played in 81 of the Sacramento’s 82 games last season. 

Kings guards De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield relive scoring first NBA baskets

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Kings guards De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield relive scoring first NBA baskets

You don't often forget your firsts. 

For some NBA players, the memory of when they made their basket on the big stage sticks with them.

ESPN interviewed a number of marquee NBA players, who discussed how they remember their first bucket.

For Kings guard De'Aaron Fox, he remembers every detail.

"I checked in. It was actually on Trevor [Ariza], who's with us now. I did my little move, went by him, he did a back-tap, missed it and I had a layup. Yeah, I remember that. It was great. It was cool. For me, playing against the Rockets, growing up in Houston and then playing them for my first regular-season game in the NBA, it was definitely fun. It was a great experience."

For his teammate Buddy Hield, his experience was filled with much more anxiety.

"It was at New Orleans," he said. "We played against the Denver Nuggets. It was an isolation play and I got a left-handed layup going down the lane. It was wide open, and it was one of the hardest layups I've ever made. I don't know how I made it, but I made it, because it was wide open. It was one of those things. Your first NBA basket [comes with] all the anxiety, all the pressure, but it was fun, it was cool."

ESPN also interviewed Lakers wing Kyle Kuzma, veteran guard JJ Redick, and others. The verdict across the board appears to be synonymous: Anxious, high-pressure moments that they wouldn't trade anything for.

[RELATED: Hield doesn't want 'insult' contract offers]

Fox recently spoke out about wanting the Kings to keep Hield on the team with a long-term contract after a season where the two developed strong chemistry on the court. To keep that core group together is something Fox wants -- and he's making sure the negotiations have started to get that process going.