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#pounditWednesday, May 31, 2023

LeBron James shares what about NBA’s COVID protocol bothered him

LeBron James yells during a game

The COVID-19 testing saga involving Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James continues.

Early last week, James was placed into the NBA’s health and safety protocol following a positive (lateral flow) test. Then things began to get a little strange — or “fishy,” as LeBron put it.

James took a second test, this time of the PCR variety, and that came back negative. A third test returned a positive. At that point, James was isolated and declared out for the team’s 117-92 win against the Sacramento Kings.

Further tests came back negative and James was cleared to return to the Lakers. The NBA released a statement explaining the situation from their side of things.

James was back on the court on Friday night, dropping 23 points in a 119-115 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. But it wasn’t the defeat he was interested in discussing after the game — it was the NBA’s COVID-19 policy and the inconsistent testing.

“I knew I was going to get cleared because I never, ever felt sick at all,” James said, via ESPN. “I just thought it was just handled very poorly.”

Following the Thanksgiving holiday, the NBA introduced more strict and rigorous testing to help protect their players in the event of a spread. It’s known that testing is not fool-proof, but James apparently believes he should be above all that.

“Usually when you have a positive test, they’ll test you right away to make sure,” James added. “There was not a follow-up test after my positive test. It was straight to isolation and you’ve been put into protocol. That’s the part that kind of angered me. I had to figure out a way to get home from Sacramento by myself. They wouldn’t allow anyone to travel with me, no security, no anything, when I traveled back from Sacramento.

“And then I had to put my kids in isolation for the time being, the people in my household in isolation for the time being, so it was just a big-time inconvenience. That was the anger part.”

The everyday Joe is not going to feel for James here. This is the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inconveniences have been felt in every household across the country.

James, who is fully vaccinated, also recently took issue with a mask policy at his son, Bronny’s, basketball game.

Image: Nov 28, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts against the Detroit Pistons in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


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