A report came out late Friday night that Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James had violated the NBA’s health and safety protocols by attending an event for his tequila company Lobos 1707 with Drake, Michael B. Jordan and others this past week.
For obvious reasons, this put all Lakers fans in a frenzy as the team is getting set to begin the postseason on Sunday afternoon against the Phoenix Suns.
Often times when players have violated protocols or come in close contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), they are forced to quarantine for 10-14, missing action on the court. In a similar incident with James Harden earlier in the season though, he was only fined and not forced to a mandatory quarantine.
Luckily, it appears the same will be the case for James. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, James will not be suspended and will be available for Game 1 against the Suns:
LeBron James won't be suspended for protocols violation, sources tell ESPN. Nature of event didn't rise to a threat level of virus spread, as described in @McTen's story below. Suns-Lakers Game 1 on Sunday. https://t.co/nEAcnBsbvv
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 22, 2021
The original report said that if everyone in attendance were either vaccinated or had a recent negative test then it wouldn’t be in violation of protocol, so perhaps that’s what took place here.
While this is great news for James and the Lakers, it can also serve as a bit of a warning with the playoffs about to get underway. Even though the pandemic is getting better across the country, it is not fully behind us yet and teams still need to follow the necessary protocols to get through the postseason without any issues.
Potentially missing playoff games didn’t factor into James’ vaccine decision
James was asked if he was vaccinated during Friday’s practice and refused to answer. When asked if the potential of missing important playoff games went into his decision to get vaccinated or not though, it was a firm no from the Lakers star.
“Nah. Anything I do off the floor is predicated to my family for the majority, 99.9 percent of that,” explained James.
“So it’s about health and safety of my family, and that’s what it came down to. Me being available to my teammates on the floor is me taking care of my body, me doing everything I can to make sure I’m available mentally, physically and spiritually as well. So anything of that nature, that’s all family talk.”
Unclear if James is vaccinated or not, Lakers fans everywhere will not doubt be holding their collective breaths this postseason run as the Lakers look to repeat as champions.
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