LeBron James To Sabrina Ionescu After Her Injury: 'Health Is Wealth’
Jill Painter Lopez
LeBron James sent Sabrina Ionescu well wishes for a speedy recovery after the WNBA star suffered a Grade 3 left ankle sprain in her third game as a professional basketball player on Friday. She's expected to be out at least one month.
Tweeted James: “Ouch!! @sabrina_i20 Get healthy as soon as possible! 🙏🏾. Health is wealth.”
Ionesco suffered the injury while dribbling the ball up the court against the Atlanta Dream’s Betnijah Laney, who was pressuring her on defense.
Ionescu, who was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 WNBA draft by the New York Liberty, was with her teammates for Sunday's game against the Phoenix Mercury, cheering them on from the bench using one crutch.
The injury is a huge blow to the Liberty. The former Oregon star was averaging 18.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and four assists in 26.7 minutes over three games.
In her second game of the season against the Dallas Wings on Wednesday, she had 33 points in 34 minutes even though she was double-teamed for much for the game. She also had seven rebounds and seven assists.
The WNBA is playing their season in a bubble in Bradenton, Florida. The league has received a lot of support from NBA players, including James and Dion Waiters, who wore orange WNBA sweatshirts on July 25 in support of the league opener. Kyrie Irving has pledged $1.5 million to help cover the salaries of WNBA players who are sitting out the season.
In her WNBA debut, Ionescu struggled a bit, finishing with 12 points on 4-for-17 shooting from the field, including going 0-for-8 from beyond the three-point line.
After that game, she said James and many other NBA players reached out to her.
“I talk to a lot of them a lot of the time,” Ionescu told the Associated Press. “Steph [Curry] FaceTimed me and we talked for about 20 minutes. I talked to Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, Damian Lillard, Ja Morant, LeBron, there’s just so many relationships I have of people that watched and kind of helped me through that game. And [I] kind of came back around after that second game and [they] were super proud and pumped.”