LeBron James gets all the calls on the court, and it turns out, the calls go his way off the court as well.
James broke the NBA’s health and safety protocols before the Los Angeles Lakers first round matchup against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday and was not suspended for the violation.
LeBron James won't be suspended for protocols violation, sources tell ESPN. Nature of event didn't rise to a threat level of virus spread, as described in @McTen's story below. Suns-Lakers Game 1 on Sunday. https://t.co/nEAcnBsbvv
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 22, 2021
According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, James attended a promotional event last week for Lobos 1707, a tequila brand which he invests in. James was at the event with artist Drake and actor Michael B. Jordan, and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test was reportedly required in order to attend.
“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.
James has not revealed whether he has received the COVID vaccine or not, telling reporters that he will keep that matter between him and his family. On Friday, James was asked by a reporter whether the NBA’s playoff protocol’s affected his decision on receiving the vaccine.
“Anything I do off the floor is predicated to my family, for the majority — for 99.9% of that,” James said according to ESPN. “So it’s about the health and safety of my family, and that’s what it came down to.
“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.”
The NBA has been very clear throughout the COVID-19 pandemic on what players are allowed and not allowed to do as the league plays out its season.
The Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving and James Harden — then of the Houston Rockets — both were found guilty of violating the NBA’s rules on COVID earlier in the season. Harden was fined $50,000 and ruled “unavailable” for the Rockets first game of the regular season (which was eventually postponed), and Irving was fined $50,000 plus two game checks for games missed while in quarantine.
The double standard is obvious, though not unexpected when it comes to James.
“Inside the NBA” host and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley discussed the situation while on Yahoo Sports’ “Dunk Bait” podcast.
I love Adam Silver, rest in peace David Stern, best commissioner in sports. The NBA ain’t got the balls to f***ing suspend LeBron James. Zero. Listen, today, when I read that, I just — sometimes you read stuff, you just start laughing.
Hey, the NBA, they ain’t got no chance of suspending LeBron James. If it was a nobody, they would put him in health and safety protocols. Ain’t no f***ing way LeBron James is going to be sitting out with all the health and safety protocols. When I read that, I just started laughing. LeBron James is playing Sunday. Guarantee.
"Ain't no f***ing way LeBron James is going to be sit out because of health and safety protocols."
Charles Barkley weighs in on the NBA and LeBron as only he can 🗣
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) May 22, 2021
Barkley wasn’t wrong, as James played Sunday in game one of the NBA’s first round against the Phoenix Suns. James had 18 points on a passive 6-13 shooting in the Suns 99-90 win. The two teams continue their series on Thursday at 10 p.m. EST.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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