The NBA raised several eyebrows after it decided not to suspend Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James for breaking the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Prior to the Lakers’ 103-100 play-in game victory over the Golden State Warriors on May 20, James attended a promotional event for a tequila brand along with rapper Drake and actor Michael B. Jordan.
Basketball fans felt that James received special treatment from the league as other players who committed similar violations in the past had been forced to sit out games, particularly Brooklyn Nets superstars James Harden and Kyrie Irving.
On Tuesday, May 25, the NBA released a statement explaining why quarantine wasn’t necessary for the four-time league MVP James.
“To clarify any remaining misconception, LeBron James briefly attended an outdoor event last week where participants were required to be vaccinated or return a negative test result,” said NBA chief communications officer Mike Bass in a statement.
“Under these circumstances and in consultation with medical experts, it was determined that his attendance did not create risks related to the spread of COVID-19 and therefore no quarantine was necessary.”
“Under current NBA rules, vaccinated players are permitted to engage in outside activities including their individual commercial arrangements, such as sponsor appearances or ad shoots,” he added.
As a result, James was able to suit up in the Lakers’ thrilling play-in game duel versus the Warriors, where he hit the game-winning three-pointer.
James also played in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round series against the Phoenix Suns on Monday, where he finished with 18 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds in a 99-90 loss.
James and the defending champion Lakers will look to bounce back against the Suns as they return to action on Wednesday, May 26, Manila time. –Rappler.com