The hits keep coming for the Los Angeles Lakers as LeBron James was placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols ahead of Tuesday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings.
While not confirmed, James most likely tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) as he is expected to miss several games over. Players who test positive for coronavirus must remain away from the team for at least 10 days and if they are asymptomatic.
Head coach Frank Vogel faces another difficult task trying to rally the team without James available but reiterated that guys will need to step up in his absence.
“Obviously it’s a huge loss,” Vogel said. “It’s disappointing. We just want the best for him right now, that’s where our thoughts are and we have the next man up mindset. It’s an 82-game season, you’re gonna deal with guys being in and out of the lineup. We’ve been without him some already this season and I feel like we’re further along with our cohesiveness now than we were the first time he went out with his ab strain.”
Vogel added he and the organization found out earlier but did not provide any additional details. “We found out this morning that he was gonna be entering the health and safety protocols and we arranged for him to get transportation back to L.A. safely, that’s pretty much all I can say about it.”
The start-and-stop nature for James this season has been incredibly frustrating to watch as the team tries to find its groove with everyone in the lineup. Availability has been a major issue for the Lakers and all they can hope for now is for James to return sooner rather than later.
Vogel presumes James is frustrated about being in and out of lineup
While the team and fans are most likely disappointed that James is out, there is no one more upset about the situation than the star himself. Vogel has not talked to James about it, but he presumed the veteran is frustrated with how things have gone so far.
“That’s something you’ll really have to ask him,” Vogel said. “He has really not directed that towards me or any frustration level with me, other than we know that he wants to be in there every night more than anybody in the league probably. So I think it’s just evident, but not something that he and I have talked about.”
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