There’s bad news for fans who thought they were going to see LeBron James’ first Bay Area appearance as a Laker on Friday in San Jose.
James is not expected to suit up for the Lakers when they take on the Warriors at SAP Center, according to an ESPN report.
The plan was apparently to have James play in just one of Los Angeles’ two preseason games against the Warriors.
James was scheduled to start Wednesday night’s game in Las Vegas against Golden State as new teammate Lonzo Ball makes his first preseason appearance after knee surgery.
Ball hasn’t played a competitive game since March. He was close to making his exhibition debut Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers, but he and the Lakers opted to be safe and give him a few more days.
Ball finally will have a chance Wednesday to start developing some on-court chemistry with his teammates. In particular, he and the Lakers will get a better view of how he will interact with James on the court.
“We’ll (be) playing fast,” Ball said. “I’ll be getting the ball to (James) a lot, he can do the same, get out and push it so that will be a very interesting dynamic.”
James told reporters in Los Angeles that the plan is for him to play 15-16 minutes on Wednesday. He was noncommittal when asked about playing in San Jose.
“I only know about Wednesday right now,” James said Monday night. “I don’t really look that far into the future.”
Sitting out Friday’s preseason finale in San Jose will disappoint local fans, but not playing will allow James to have a full week of rest before the Lakers’ season opener in Portland next Wednesday.
James has only appeared sparingly through the Lakers’ first three games, playing exclusively in the first halves. He’s averaging 17 points in just over 15 minutes per game for his new team.
Fans in the Bay Area will now have to wait until Christmas night to watch LeBron and the new-look Lakers take on the Warriors.
The teams will meet four times in the regular season, with their remaining contests on Jan. 21 (in L.A.), Feb. 2 (in Oakland) and April 4 (in L.A.).
Parker takes on new role
Candace Parker has been hired by Turner Sports as an analyst and commentator for NBA games this season on TNT and NBA TV.
Turner announced Wednesday that Parker, who is still playing for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, will provide analysis on NBA TV’s “GameTime” studio show and will be part of the “Players Only” telecasts on both networks.
Parker, a two-time league MVP and 2016 WNBA champion, also will be a part of Turner’s and CBS’ coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. She was a studio analyst for Turner during last year’s tournament.
Parker says in a statement that she is happy to resume broadcasting with Turner and that it allows her to share her love of the sport with viewers.