LeBron James has been a vocal critic of the NBA’s current system and even hinted that he could take his talents to Europe if things don’t change. Today, it was reported that LeBron would be staying in America after all when ESPN broke their story on Twitter. What will come next?
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Following the Lakers’ 119-115 defeat to the LA Clippers on Friday night, LeBron James claimed he felt “confused,” “frustrated,” and “mad” after his short time in the NBA’s health and safety standards.
James was unable to play in Tuesday’s game against the Sacramento Kings after returning a positive COVID-19 test on Tuesday morning, forcing him to segregate himself from his teammates and travel back to L.A. alone on an aircraft rented by the organization.
After finishing with 23 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals against the Clippers, James remarked, “I knew I was going to be cleared because I never, ever felt ill at all.” “I simply felt it was handled very badly,” she said.
On Tuesday, James reported he tested negative, but then tested positive in a follow-up test. Following Thanksgiving, the league reintroduced more stringent testing to its teams in the hopes of catching any instances that may have occurred as a result of players widening their networks of family and friends over the holiday.
“They’ll usually test you immediately away if you have a positive test,” James said. “After my positive test, there was no follow-up test.” You were immediately placed in isolation and put on protocol. That was the thing that irritated me the most. I had to find out how to go from Sacramento to my house on my own. When I returned from Sacramento, they wouldn’t let anybody go with me, no security, no nothing.
“Then I had to put my kids in isolation for the time being, as well as the rest of my family, which was a major inconvenience. That was the point when I became angry.”
After a second negative PCR test within a 24-hour timeframe, James was authorized to return to the lineup on Thursday afternoon. From the moment he arrived to Los Angeles until he was cleared on Thursday, James returned eight negative tests in all, according to ESPN sources.
The NBA will implement similar enforcement later this month when it comes to COVID-19 booster shots, according to The Athletic. The NBA did not require its players to receive the COVID-19 vaccine but imposed stricter testing and social-distancing rules for those who were unvaccinated compared to those who were.
When asked whether he had obtained a booster injection and if the process he had gone through over the previous few days had influenced his decision to get one if he hadn’t already, James provided a rambling response.
“No, this procedure… we’ve all been following the regulations and taking the exams and stuff like that,” he replied. “When you receive a false positive and are immediately placed in isolation, it’s awful. That is the only unpleasant aspect of the situation. But we’ll have to wait and see what happens.”
Meanwhile, the Lakers’ two-game winning run was halted against a Clippers club that had lost six of its previous eight games entering the night.
James stated that the stop-and-go style of his season has disrupted his rhythm. He revealed he didn’t pick up a basketball from the time L.A.’s game against the Detroit Pistons finished on Sunday until shootaround on Friday. He started the first three games for the Lakers before missing two due to an ankle ailment. After that, he played in the Lakers’ next three games before missing the next eight due to an abdominal injury. He then played two games before being suspended for the first time in his 19-year career. After that, he played three games before missing the game against the Kings.
“I was getting into a very, really nice groove going into Sacramento, offensively and defensively,” James said. “It’s been really difficult, either dealing with the groin or the abdomen, and then dealing with the false positive that took me out of a game, then threw me off the court and prevented me from keeping my rhythm. It’s simply… it’s been a really difficult year for me to start a fourth of the season. However, there are only pleasant things ahead.”
The Lakers are now 12-12, eighth in the Western Conference, after their defeat on Friday. Their next game is Tuesday at home against a Boston Celtics club that beat them handily at TD Garden on Nov. 19.
Looking back on the James drama, Anthony Davis remarked, “It’s just difficult when you’re in and out of the lineup, particularly when you don’t really have a reason to be out.” “We were having a good time. So it’s a little aggravating, but no one seems to feel sorry for us. We’re not wallowing in self-pity. We need to go out there and play basketball games with everybody who is available.”