LeBron James won’t be suspended for violating NBA protocol
James reportedly violated the NBA's health and safety protocols
Los Angeles Lakers‘ living legend LeBron James won’t face suspension after attending a promotional event earlier this week and breaching the NBA’s health and safely protocols, according to CBS Sports.
The event, hosted by Lobos 1707, a tequila brand James sponsors, reportedly took place before the Lakers played against the Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament, but “didn’t rise to a threat level of virus spread,” per CBS. So, the star forward will be allowed to play in Sunday’s series opener against the Phoenix Suns as scheduled.
“It’s a violation of the agreed upon protocols, and, as we have in other comparable instances around the league, it has been addressed with the team,” a league spokesman told ESPN on Friday.
CBS noted that health and safety protocol violations this season can result in suspensions lasting as long as 14 days, and that fellow Laker Dennis Schroder, who recently confirmed that he has not been vaccinated, missed seven games due to those protocols.
The event reportedly took place outdoors and required each attendee to present proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test, although, James has yet to confirm whether he’s been vaccinated or if he intends to inoculate himself against the virus at all.
“That’s a conversation my family and I will have,” he answered when questioned about vaccination in March, before adding “I’ll keep that to a private thing,” according to CBS.
On a similar note, when asked whether the consequences of disregarding the league’s health and safety protocols, such as warnings, fines and suspensions, factor into his decision to pursue or eschew the vaccine, James said, “Anything I do off the floor is predicated to my family, for the majority — for 99.9% of that,” according to ESPN. “So it’s about the health and safety of my family, and that’s what it came down to,” he continued.
“Me being available to my teammates on the floor is me taking care of my body. Me doing everything I can do to make sure I’m available both mentally, physically and spiritually, as well. But anything of that nature, that’s all family talk,” he also said.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Friday that the team’s roster has not passed the 85% vaccination threshold the league requires for teams — a minimum of 15 out of 17 players — suggesting that Schroder isn’t the only member of the team who hasn’t been vaccinated, according to ESPN.
“We have not reached it yet, but we’re still hopeful,” Vogel said. “And I think there’s obvious benefits from the standpoint of us being able to do more things with each other in the cities that we’re going to. Something that’s been absent league-wide in terms of team building and team bonding for all of us.”
“It’s been a challenge. So if we’re able to reach that threshold then, obviously, we can do more,” he said further.
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