Lakers react to LeBron James entering NBA’s health and safety protocols
LeBron James did not play in the Los Angeles Lakers’ showdown with the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night after his placement in the NBA’s health and safety protocols earlier in the day.
After the team’s 117-92 victory, several members of the Lakers reacted to the surprising development, including Anthony Davis, who first and foremost expressed concern over James’ health and well-being.
Davis spoke with James Tuesday and relayed that his teammate is presently asymptomatic. Still, Davis called it a “scary situation” nonetheless.
“It was something that was unexpected for sure,” Davis said, via the Los Angeles Times. “Found out this morning. Did more testing and we didn’t really hear anything afterwards. Woke up from a nap and any media outlet that covers anything had it on and said that he was in the health and safety protocols. … He’s out how many days we don’t know. It all depends on his situation. … He said he was good. I think he’s asymptomatic, which is a good sign. But we want to make sure that he gets back. Health is most important.”
It is not known at this time whether James, who said he was vaccinated during training camp, in fact tested positive for COVID-19. If he did, James would be out of the lineup for a minimum of 10 days. The only way that timeline would change is if James returned two negative PCR tests in a 24-hour period, per NBA policy, as laid out by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Lakers have unfortunately grown accustomed to James’ absence so far this season. The superstar has missed 11 of the team’s 22 games due to injuries. Davis alluded to as much during his postgame comments.
“It wasn’t like a shocker for us … we just can’t catch a break. We’re just getting guys back and he’s out … how many days we don’t know… Still gotta find ways to win. We can’t let that affect us,” Davis said, via Clutch Points. Obviously, he’s a huge part of our team, but I think we played a huge amount of games without him. So we kinda know how that is already, and we gotta continue to play how we did on the defensive end as we did until he comes back.”
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel shared Davis’ sentiments of frustration.
Should the timeline play out in such a way that James does miss extended time, the Lakers (12-11) play the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder over the next 10 days. The team will attempt to string together three straight wins against their in-city rival on Friday night, albeit presumably without James.