Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  73 responses

LeBron James’ Mysterious Elbow Injury

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Though he was only an assist away from registering a triple double last night, LeBron James did not submit one of his typically super-human performances in the series closeout game against the Chicago Bulls.

And with the result no longer in doubt, James stepped up to the free throw line and gave Cavs fans reason to be concerned for the first time since the Playoffs began.

When LeBron’s free throw — which he shot with his left hand — clanged off the rim, his mysterious right elbow injury became the dominant storyline heading into the second round showdown between Cleveland and Boston.

The Plain Dealer reports:

It is not clear what sort of shape James will be in when the matchup with the Celtics starts Saturday night at The Q. Stretching and shaking his right arm as if it was asleep for much of the fourth quarter, he was able to take his needed and normal role of fourth-quarter bulldozer. He scored eight of his 19 points — his lowest output in the series — in the fourth and pulled down several vital rebounds.

He did it despite the elbow going numb on him a few times, a malady he has been battling for nearly a month. But this was the first time it significantly affected him in a game. “I don’t honestly know what is going on,” said James, who had an X-ray and an MRI on the elbow on Monday that showed no structural damage. It almost feels like you hit your funny bone and it numbs up. I’ve never had a problem with my elbow before. Don’t know when it happened, hopefully it doesn’t continue to bother me. It bothers me more because I don’t actually know what it is.”

During the postgame presser, James assured Cavs fans that they have nothing to worry about when it comes to his health, and that he trusts the doctors in Cleveland entirely.

Assurances aside, until Game 1 tips off on Saturday night, and LBJ proves that he’s fine physically, his elbow will continue to dominate the conversation. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

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  • J-smooth

    If he didn’t shoot the free throw left handed, this wouldn not even be a story line…

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Paul Pierce eat your heart (knee) out.

  • lol @ Hurtsy

  • LA Huey

    Never heard him bumble through speech like that before.

  • underdog

    One thing for sure. LeBron ain’t Bo Kimble.

  • slamfan4life

    it happened when LeBron tried stopping Rose, he collided with Rose in the air and fell

    ofcourse Rose didnt get the and 1


  • http://myspace.com/rsaenz24 RoG23

    its amazing that lebron has never had a serious injury considering the style he plays. the weight room has been good to him. as a cavs fan, im not worried at all

  • Mauritz

    If LeBron is seriously affected by this injury, the Celtics might very well win this series.

  • mj23

    If it’s a serious injury, that may be the only hope for the C’s.

  • MF

    WOW talk about acting, that was hard to watch I was laughing so hard last night. Can’t believe people are buying in to this, he got want he wanted people to talk about it.

  • Buschfire

    C’s are loosing in 6 to cleveland, maybe 5.

  • The Philosopher

    The King is my dude and all, but, the NBA. Nothing But Actors.

  • Sporting-Lisbon-Blazers

    this is some Paul Piercy sh1t right here!!! freakin show, why the first freebie was allright then?

  • The Philosopher

    I wonder what the point spread was for that game.

  • JHaney

    LeBron James was just being his self. Just look at the things he has done in the past. I can’t say he wasn’t hurt but he went a little overboard with the acting job. He said his self that the doctors found nothing wrong with it. But by the way his was holding it, you would think there was something wrong. Just play basketball LeBron, your game will get all the attention you need. And by the way, LeBron and the Cavs better pay attention to the Celtics because that want go the way everyone expects it to go. Celtics in 6.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Allenp

    Rose gets no respect from the refs. For real.

  • The Wize

    Kobe wannabe

  • The Wize

    get a real injury! loser!

  • http://aol.com RUN’N'GUN219


  • unrel

    what did 50 say?… Tupac cut his head bald,then you want to cut yo head bald; Tupac wear a bandana,you wanna wear a banadana; Tupac put a cross on his back,You wanna put crosses on yo back.. kobe play hurt?.. etc etc..

  • http://counterkicks.com Q-Tip

    Jeez LeBron really wants more face time, ridiculous quit cryin

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    His elbow still recorded 5 assists and 3 blocks

  • The Philosopher

    @Allenp: Brad Miller don’t get respect from the refs, either.

  • dino

    Dont f**k with D Rose

  • Tommy Patron

    So, he shot the first one righty and made it. Drama queen.

  • Robb

    He wants to look tough by playing “injured”. Hey LeBum, Kobe plays injured, Stephen Jackson plays injured. You’re just faking.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    I think he just wants us all to think that the odds are against him, playing hurt, then he will overcome the injury while winning games (maybe Championship) and look like a hero.. I dunno, maybe the injury is real.. That lefty free-throw reminded me of Jordan’s eyes-closed free throw, except Mike made his.. Think he was hoping to make it and add it to his career highlight reel..

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    I still think Bron is the complete package, and will be for years to come.. He wants so badly to leap frog Kobe and Jordan as the best, but I question his maturity.. All this dancing from the bench, and shoot, I remember when Boobie Gibson won the 3point shoot-out, Bron was having a parade of 1 on the sidelines.

  • http://brimartin13@gmail.com Brion

    I cant believe people are actually predicting the celtics to win this series. They maybe get one game.

  • dino

    The King can beat the celtics single (left) handely. Seriously though the celtics are done

  • BostonBaller

    I’m not going to say he isn’t hurt but it’s weird that there didn’t seem to be any signs of an injury when he was imposing his will on the court. (What a Beast) The King of all LBJ haters (Skip B.; ESPN) seems to think he is setting it up in case he can’t win it all this year. lol. Who are we to question him, it’s the playoffs so let’s play ball. My C’s are still a bit banged up but they know they just have to play…NO excuses just like last year..we just played. @ LA Huety, He did bumble a bit during the interview and he usually looks at the interviewer and camera, this time he was all over the place. funny stuff.

  • BostonBaller

    I’m going with The Celtics as I do every year. lol. It’s amazing how 9 out of 10 ppl who check this site had the C’s missing the playoffs all together and were saying they were bums…then it was, they made it but may not get past the 1st round. As I’ve said many times, LBJ can not be stopped but he can be derailed enough to be beaten. It will take a complete team effort by the Cavs to beat us as well as us to beat them. I can’t wait!

  • ab_40

    take the danm brace off. it has no use whatsoever

  • Dtown

    hope his elbow gets worse… C’s in 6

  • bill breedley

    bron is a queen. no damage after xray and mri, hence no injury. what’s with the acting job then? lefty freethrow? lame. this guy is an attention hungry queen. the gay dancing, powder throwing thing and the uber gay photo act before games. this is the most pathetic nba player. makes rodman look normal. even worse is how big a jerk he is. check this video out.

  • T-Money

    bill, of course, i would not expect you to mention that nba players do this all the time to ballboys to mess with them. you can see that he goes OUT OF HIS WAY to make sure that the ballboy has to pick the gears up. but yeah, keep on, he’s the biggest jerk ever and the only nba player to be part of that inside joke.

  • ClydeSays

    Meh. He’ll be fine. I do think the Bulls got scr3wed by the refs in Game 5. What were those calls on Miller and Noah? I know those 2 are intigators/crybabies but damn. Here’s hoping the refs don’t hand the C’s the same treatment.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Allenp

    This ballboy video is like the World Trade footage for some folks.

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens

    @unreal you really wanna talk about Kobe when it comes to imitating someone? The dude that even tries to sound like MJ on interviews. The dude that is sticking his tongue out on the homepage of Slamonline? OK… smh

  • zeekthefreak

    most people I agree with. He is faking to make it look good. What a fool. Play the game the way it was meant, not with premadonna antics to make people think he is going crazy against the odds.

  • The Philosopher

    As long as the ballboy gets paid…

  • BostonBaller

    Those ball boys n girls have a pretty sweet deal for the most part…..

  • http://springbored.net letsmotor

    i’m not ready to say that i really think he’s faking, but i gotta ask: if he made the first righty, why did he need to adjust? have we considered the possibility that he wanted to shoot and make a free throw (in crunch time) lefty, and just needed an excuse to do it, so he said his elbow hurt? I dunno. Tough to say. Also, to everyone who says C’s-Cavs is gonna be a quick series: really? I know the Cavs dominated pretty much all year long, but the Celtics played very well (great team ball, great defense) against the Heat, who had been hot for a long time. I understand that the Cavs are going to be most people’s favorite to win the series, but to say it’s gonna be quick? You Cavs fans better hope that your team isn’t sleeping on the C’s the way you are.

  • Logues

    lebron shot the first free throw and perfectly normal, followed thru all the way with his arm, made it, and even held his arms up a couple secs after he made it, didnt seem to bother him at all. if his elbow actually was hurt, he wouldnt of done that, bron is all about attention, and his ultimate goal is for everyone to talk about it and say how great he is cuz hes playing with a hurt elbow.

  • http://www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com Tarzan Cooper

    Manu gets his nose severely adjustd, commes back and plays huge to get his team the win. Brandon comes back 8 days after surgery to help his team. Bron says it feels like u hit ur funny bone. Gtfoh! Hes a kid making a built in excuse, like mr. Bean

  • BostonBaller

    You know how a kid does something and feels as though it was wrong see he immediately comes up with something? If the elbow isn’t hurt as bad as thought then maybe he realized once he missed the lefty that he would be criticized and accused of showing off or disrespecting The Bulls therefore he had to think quick. I had the same thoughts as Logues but was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. He is still a Beast.

  • http://slamonline.com JL

    definitely faking. if it was really hurt then why did he shoot an unnecessary free throw with the game decided (and he made the one earlier) and also come back into the game after it’s decided? Just to run around pretending he’s got a dead arm? what was that going to do? please no more paul pierce injuries.

  • don

    funny as it may seem, he still seems like the perfect teammate

  • The Philosopher

    LONG LIVE THE KING!!!!!!!!! LONG LIVE THE KING!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mr. Robinson

    I remember the Mike Tyson fight. He said he broke his back n’ sh!t. The guy ask him, “how yo back broke?” My boy Tyson says, “SPINAL”!!! LeBron shoulda said…SPINAL!!! Fake a$$ N!**a!!

  • Macgyver

    i have watched about 80 percent of cavs games this season and i noticed immediately that his two point jump shooting has been off for the past month or so..considering how much he has developed in that area and how great he was with it this season until this came along.like he said himself,it limits his jump shot and because lebron isn’t as great jump shooter as kobe he needs to be physically 100% to make those two point jump shots effectively..kobe doesn’t cuz he is the greatest two point jump shooter so that’s why he can adjust..

  • Macgyver

    are you guys retards??you are questioning his injury..how many times he has complained about injuries or used that as an excuse?never..and why the F would he have to lie about it considering he played great in that series..jesus christ if lebron complains about something it’s biiig..

  • http://asfkl.com Jukai

    I love the haters. people are acting like he isn’t playing through his injury, they keep invoking Kobe who is KILLING his team cause of his injuries. It’s hysterical.

  • The D Train

    Well McGruber, he played great against an 8 seed in the first round, so that’s not that much of a merit badge. If LBJ complains, the world listens, for good or ill. He is the Cavs. They would have zero chance against any team in the playoffs without him, so an injury to his shooting apparatus is a big deal. Also should note that it’s not like he shot the lefty with them up by one or two…they were up 4 and it would take a minor Reggie-like miracle to come back. So if he goes a bit drama-queen, who cares? And you can’t say it’s not a bit drama’ish, cuz I cannot recall any player shooting a semi-clutch free-throw left-handed in the waning seconds of any playoff game. So goes Lebron, so goes Cleveland’s chance of winning the title. They couldn’t beat Orlando last year with him healthy, so they need him at full capacity to rumble with Boston, potentially Orlando, and whomever the West provides. Regardless, I love how everyone is quick to bestow the title upon Cleveland when we went through the same song and dance last year. Until he finally wins one, I will always think that he’s not going to pull it out…simply cuz I was an MJ fan as a young cat, and now I’m old and cantankerous. So if MJ got all this “I’ll believe it when I see it”, so too shall it be for Lebron.

  • Shem

    Rarely ever do superstar players ever get injured at the top of their prime, LeBron’s a superstar at the top of his prime in the final year of his contract in the best chance he’s ever had at a title… no way celtics stand a chance even with LeBron shooting left handed

  • http://Yahoo.com 3233569658

    Wow he should start acting now like when Paul pierce supposbly got injured in the lakers- celtics final.

  • http://dgcoursereview.com Bro D.

    He could have some sort of tendinitis or impingement of a radial nerve, neither of which really show up in X-rays or MRI, both of which are freaky injuries that you have to experience firsthand, trust me. All you haters saying that Bron is faking it can rest well knowing that you are in the same company as Skip Bayless.

  • coggie13

    He said it comes on and off. most likely happened as he extended is elbow for the shot.. but who cares they won… philly ftw.

  • http://www.slamonline.com negetivekreep

    LMAO @ the irony of a know it all like jukai throwing out the “hater” card. that’s hysterical.
    Relax, nobody’s “hating” on LeBron! Or questioning his ability to play thru injury. They were all just calling him out on the obvious. LeBron don’t like attention, he demands it. Hell thats the way the media likes it. Example:Slamonline headline: “LeBron wants to own a team someday” that’s a fact. He was fakin the funk on that elbow ish plain n simple. And dont even try to deflect that ish onto Kobe. The only reason Kobe was brought up is because he is known for playing thru injury, when most guys would hang em up, or want a big kissy on da boo boo! And thats exactly what Bron Bron wanted on that left hand free throw pfffffft! please. Trying to b like mi….er, MAMBA.

  • ENDS

    Y’all dumb as hell. He went up with the first shot and since it seemed outta reach he shot the second one left handed so the LeB**** suckers could have there nightly orgasm (Tim Legler, Doug Collins). when he missed and realized it was not done he panicked (check the replay walking to thje bench he’s fine swinging the arm, while his teamates have the wth was that look on there face) thats where the I hurt my elbow excuse came from. He quickly said oh its alright though i’ll be fine it doesnt hurt much. Yeah thats cause there was no injury.
    he did the same thing in game 4 pulling up for a 40 footer with time on the clock so people can say wow he’ so tallented…that arrogance is what bothers me. U havent won anything act like u’ve been there LeB**** I know rather see Kobe win another one before I wanna see Lebron and the Funky bunch win

  • ENDS

    Y’all dumb as hell. He went up with the first shot and since it seemed outta reach he shot the second one left handed so the LeB**** suckers could have there nightly orgasm (Tim Legler, Doug Collins). when he missed and realized it was not done he panicked (check the replay walking to the bench he’s fine swinging the arm, while his teamates have the “w.t.h. was that” look on there faces) thats where the “I hurt my elbow” excuse came from. He quickly said oh its alright though i’ll be fine it doesnt hurt much. Yeah thats cause there was no injury.
    he did the same thing in game 4 pulling up for a 40 footer with time on the clock so people can say wow he’ so tallented…that arrogance is what bothers me. U havent won anything act like u’ve been there LeB**** I now rather see Kobe win another one before I see Lebron and the Funky bunch win

  • bill breedley

    everything about the boy is fake. with the way his face is all wrinkled up already and that receding hairline of his, i still believe to this day that he is 3-4 years older than he actually says.

    looking forward to big babby doing a shaq on that “injured elbow”

  • JoeMaMa

    The Boston Celtics just had an extensve team meeting with an orthopedic surgeon: “How to aggravate Lebron’s elbow injury while looking like you’re just boxing him out”. Big Baby and Garnett took copious notes.

  • Rikson

    To fill such a great baskeball-body with such a childish and lame personality – what a waste of talent! Mark my words: he will hurt the game ultimatly…

  • fahrenheit

    did anyone see Barkley last night? “the Cavs have been the best team in the NBA for the past 3 years” yeah right, Charles.. how come they have 0 rings then?

  • http://www.nba.com/suns Dacre

    Last week, we took some friends to a new restaurant, ‘Steve’s Place,’
    and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his
    shirt pocket.
    It seemed a little strange. When the busboy brought our water and
    utensils, I observed that he also had a spoon in his shirt pocket.
    Then I looked around and saw that all the staff had spoons in their
    pockets. When the waiter came back to serve our soup I inquired, ‘Why
    the spoon?’
    ‘Well, ‘he explained, ‘the restaurant’s owner hired Andersen
    Consulting to revamp all of our processes. After several months of
    analysis, they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently
    dropped utensil. It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3
    spoons per table per hour.
    If our personnel are better prepared, we can reduce the number of
    trips back to the kitchen and save 15 man-hours per shift.’
    As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and he replaced it with his
    spare. ‘I’ll get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen instead
    of making an extra trip to get it right now..’ I was impressed.
    I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of the waiter’s fly.
    Looking around, I saw that all of the waiters had the same string
    hanging from their flies. So, before he walked off, I asked the
    waiter, ‘Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right
    ‘Oh, certainly!’ Then he lowered his voice. ‘Not everyone is so
    observant. That consulting firm I mentioned also learned that we can
    save time in the restroom.
    By tying this string to the tip of our you-know-what, we can pull it
    out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands,
    shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39%.’
    I asked quietly, ‘After you get it out, how do you put it back?’
    ‘Well,’ he whispered, ‘I don’t know about the others, but I use the spoon.’

  • Macgyver

    talking about receding hairline.take a look at arjen robben his a soccer player in case you didn’t know..his 25 or so but looks like 50..

  • Justin

    Gotta love the Bron haters, and I really don’t understand where it comes from. Perhaps, he didn’t want to show weakness during the game? Anyone ever think of that? Of course not. It’s too easy to be a skeptic. Nobody ever said anything when Michael would twist his ankle on a photographer, come into the game and put up 40, then be seen walking out of the arena on crutches, only to play again two nights later. Some people/athletes just have the mental toughness and the will to get it done. Jordan did it through injury and sickness, Kobe has done it most of the year with his finger and other ailments. It’s not too hard to put Lebron in that category too.

  • vtrobot

    i’m no doctor, but it looked like his arm is paralyzed. lebron was getting tired of how much injury press mamba gets. celts = sometimes taken too lightly. cavs = often overrated. this will be a hate-filled battle. how fat is shaq now? the sight of him backing down miller almost made me sick. it was like bad sumo wrestling. c’s in 7. thank you.

  • BostonBaller

    Very funny Dacre!!!

  • Le Dance Dance Revolution

    I fell on the dance floor !!!

  • BostonBaller

    I don’t want to hear another word about the elbow. Before game 1 tiop off they showed LBJ tossing balls at the hoop from half court (out of bounds) with his right hand. Come on man, if you have any sort of injury you do NOT do anything that may inflame it.

  • rafael

    I like LBJ but that elbow injury is just for drama! If you can shoot and block with that arm then where’s the problem? LBJ, to me you’re still a prince. Call yourself the King when you win the crown. You’re a prophet not the Chosen one!!! Celtics in 6, Cleveland bye bye on thursday, LBJ goes somewhere else!!! That elbow is his scape goat, if he wins with a bad elbow, he’s a hero. Lose with it then he has an excuse. Celtics in 6!!!!