Miami Heat

The Lakers officially shut down LeBron. Could he be at Dwyane Wade’s last home game?

LeBron James reflects on playing Dwyane Wade in Miami

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James talks to the media about the possibility of playing on the same court as Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade for the last time after the Heat defeated the Cavaliers at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on March
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Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James talks to the media about the possibility of playing on the same court as Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade for the last time after the Heat defeated the Cavaliers at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on March

LeBron James’ first season with the Los Angeles Lakers effectively ended March 22, when the Lakers were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

The All-Star forward’s first season in Los Angeles officially ended Saturday, when the Lakers announced they were shutting James down for the remainder of the regular season.

Could the 15-time All-Star’s next stop be AmericanAirlines Arena next month?

“After consulting with our team doctors and medical staff, we have decided to hold LeBron out of games for the remainder of the season,” Los Angeles wrote in a team statement. “This decision will allow his groin to fully heal, and is best for the future success of both LeBron and the Lakers.”

Before shutting things down, James was slated to close out his first season with Los Angeles on the same Dwyane Wade will play his final regular-season home game in Miami.

Now there’s no on-court obligation keeping James from attending the Miami Heat’s regular-season home finale against the Philadelphia 76ers, nor has there ever been a conflict for the Heat’s regular-season finale against the Brooklyn Nets the next night.

At this point, an appearance for James seems downright likely. Although he hasn’t publicly said he’ll be at the AAA yet, James did say Tuesday he wished he had been in attendance for the Heat’s loss to the Orlando Magic on Tuesday, when Miami (37-38) retired former post player Chris Bosh’s jersey at halftime.

“I thought about almost taking this game off and flying to Miami for the ceremony,” James said in a postgame interview on TNT, “but the NBA been on my ass about taking games off in the past, so I ain’t want to touch that.”

If James gets down to South Florida, the Big 3 could find themselves reunited where they won two championships in four years together. Bosh has attended about half a dozen games this season, in part to watch Wade in his final season. The All-Star guard announced before the season began this would be his last in the NBA.

All three have a strong relationship, dating back to when they were all top-five picks in the 2003 NBA draft, but Wade and James, in particular, are extremely close, often taking offseason vacations with each other and their families. At this point, it would be a surprise not to see James in the crowd when Wade gets his farewell.

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