LeBron James in Year 17 has proven he is still one of the top players –if not the best player — in the league.
James was turning in a vintage season before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic put a halt to games. Now, with the NBA restart getting underway with scrimmages, and seeding games to follow next week, he and the Los Angeles Lakers will get a chance to finish what they started.
The primary issue about resuming the regular season was health and safety, but the NBA and NBPA were able to come up with a comprehensive plan that has so far worked. Players have been reprimanded for inadvertently crossing the bubble line to pick up food, which is a minor offense.
“I believe the NBA, Adam Silver and anyone that had anything to do with this, they took all precautionary measures to make sure we as a league are as safe as we can be,” James recently said.
“Obviously, in anything that you do, there can be things that can happen. But we will cross that line if it happens. We’re doing everything — from the league, from every franchise — to make sure everyone stays safe. I believe in Adam Silver. He has given me no reason to never not believe him since he took over.
“And I believe in our franchise that we’re doing everything we can to stay safe. So I have no concerns. If concerns start to happen, we’ll cross that bridge. I’m here 100% in great health and I’m looking forward to getting back on the floor.”
There was concern from teams and their players about living life in a bubble for multiple months, but reports about the experience have been positive and have not hit any snags so far. Despite players being away from family and friends, the league has demonstrated that it’s trying its best to ensure that everyone on campus is taken care of and safe.
For James, the campus-like environment has not bothered him at all and signs point to him being ready for games to begin again. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel recently said the four-time MVP has looked outstanding in practice and as if he hadn’t spent any time away from the court.
Following NBA bubble rules and protocols
Another concern players had about the Orlando bubble was the strict rules and measures that would be implemented once on campus. The NBA laid out what would happen if anyone were to leave and even established an anonymous hotline to report any instances where guidelines were not being followed.
For Los Angeles, they have been complying with everything the league has instituted, which Vogel has a pragmatic view of. “It’s pretty simple. There’s just an expectation for all of us coming here that these are the rules,” he said.
“If you don’t follow them, you hurt our team. When we heard of players from other teams doing it, we did remind our guys just how important it is that we know the rules, understand the rules and follow the rules. Everyone of us that’s here — players and staff — has a vital role in what we’re trying to get accomplished.
“We’re going to make sure we don’t do anything from a selfish standpoint that pulls us away and hurts our team.”
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