LeBron James on NBA health and safety protocols: ‘It was handled very poorly’

·14 min read

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James said he was “confused,” “frustrated,” and “angry” after he was required to miss a game while in the NBA’s health and safety protocols for a false positive COVID-19 test. James returned to the Lakers’ lineup in a 119-115 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.
Source: The Athletic Staff @ The Athletic

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Kyle Goon @kylegoon
LeBron said getting back out of quarantine, seeing his sons play Thursday night and being back around the team picked up his spirits after the frustration of being in the protocols. pic.twitter.com/BLU5QAopNJ1:47 AM

Ben Golliver @BenGolliver
Lakers’ LeBron James: “Usually when you have a positive test, they’ll test you right away to make sure. 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.” pic.twitter.com/vjTRwBNYUv1:45 AM

Kyle Goon @kylegoon
LeBron James was upset at how his positive test was handled. He thought he should have had a follow-up test right away; instead he said he was sent immediately into quarantine. The private transit back and the isolation from his family were huge inconveniences in his eyes. pic.twitter.com/E8Mls8mjw61:44 AM

Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
LeBron James on Tyronn Lue: “As a coach, he doesn’t have a weakness.” pic.twitter.com/kh1dFsZ3JS1:33 AM

Ben Golliver @BenGolliver
Lakers’ LeBron James: “I knew I was going to get cleared because I never, ever felt sick, at all. I know you can be asymptomatic, but if what I had was a positive COVID test, then what are we doing? What are we talking about? I thought it was handled very poorly.” pic.twitter.com/XRRexRESKT1:33 AM

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina
.⁦@Dave McMenamin⁩ asks if LeBron James plans to get the booster shot pic.twitter.com/yohPjfEtLm1:32 AM

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
LeBron said he was frustrated with the way this specific situation worked out, beginning with an initial negative test, then the one that ended up being a false positive, but said of the NBA’s health and safety protocols: “I think they’ve done a great job.” – 1:26 AM

Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
LeBron on Tyronn Lue (via @TomerAzarly): “T-Lue is great. Simple as that. … He’s great at every facet of the game.” – 1:25 AM

Kyle Goon @kylegoon
LeBron says he knew he wouldn’t have what he needed tonight after four straight days off. Emphasized that in the lineup with him and Melo at the 4 and 5, he was “pretty shitty” on the defensive end. But says that he was just grateful to be out there. – 1:23 AM

Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
LeBron James said he was “pretty shitty” defensively tonight. – 1:23 AM

Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
LeBron James on not yet playing 4 straight games this season: “It’s been a very challenging year to start. … Only good things ahead.” – 1:20 AM

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina
LeBron James on being positive he never had a positive test pic.twitter.com/bFLkv2uB331:20 AM

Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
LeBron was upset that after testing positive for COVID he wasn’t immediately given another test, but was rather put straight into isolation. – 1:19 AM

Bill Oram @billoram
LeBron James said he was “confused and frustrated, angry” while navigating the league’s health and safety protocols with his false positive. – 1:18 AM

Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
LeBron James: “I knew I was going to get cleared because I never felt sick. … I thought it was handled very poorly.” – 1:17 AM

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina
LeBron James on the past few days after false positive test: “Pretty confused, frustrated, angry with not being able to do anything.” – 1:16 AM

Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
LeBron James on the last few days: “Pretty just confused, frustrated, angry.” – 1:16 AM

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina
Anthony Davis on LeBron James’ fluid availability this week: “It’s just tough when you’re in and out of the lineup, especially when you don’t have a reason to be out and you’re playing well. It is frustrating a little bit. But no one is going to feel sorry for ourselves.” – 1:02 AM

Kyle Goon @kylegoon
Frank Vogel says LeBron has had “a tough few days” experiencing the sudden stop of the COVID protocols after preparing to play in Sac, going home and being under quarantine, then getting the late approval to play. Commends his effort under the circumstances. – 12:51 AM

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina
Anthony Davis on learning about LeBron James got out of the NBA’s health and safety protocols earlier than expected pic.twitter.com/Uxz5Vfge3F12:45 AM

Kyle Goon @kylegoon
Anthony Davis said he just now watched the film of the last few plays with LeBron, Melo and Rondo, and said he thought the Morris shot was a “tip your hat to him” play, but the Kennard threes were the result of good playcalls. – 12:37 AM

Dave McMenamin @mcten
Lakers lose 119-115 to the Clippers in a game LAL just couldn’t get over the hump. AD 27p 10r; LeBron 23p 11r 6a; Monk 20p; Melo 13p; Russ 10p 9a. Lakers don’t play again until Tuesday, hosting Boston – 12:26 AM

Jovan Buha @jovanbuha
Final: Clippers 119, Lakers 115
The Lakers drop to 12-12 and 7-5 w/ LeBron James. Anthony Davis led LA with 27 points & 10 rebounds. LeBron had 23 points & 11 rebounds. The Lakers’ pick-and-roll D and Clippers’ 3s were the difference in crunch time.
Up next: vs. Boston on Tues. – 12:26 AM

Brad Turner @BA_Turner
Lakers lose to Clippers 119-115.
AD with 27 points, 10 rebounds, LeBron James with 23 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists – 12:25 AM

Kamenetzky Brothers @KamBrothers
LeBron can’t gamble like that when he’s the backline guy. AK – 12:01 AM

Law Murray @LawMurrayTheNU
I reckon Ty Lue will take the LeBron on, PG/Reggie off minutes to start this fourth. But Lue stopped the game with Clippers up 98-93 with 7:44 left.
Something to watch: Lakers are in bonus for the rest of regulation.
I say regulation since, you know, it’s the Lakers. OT likely! – 12:01 AM

Kamenetzky Brothers @KamBrothers
Hot damn!!! I’ve been waiting ages for a classic LeBron-Hartenstein mano y’ mano! AK – 11:56 PM

Kyle Goon @kylegoon
Frank lost it at Eric Lewis after LeBron’s last drive to the rim when it look like he took some contact. Surprised that wasn’t a tech. – 11:55 PM

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
Three straight buckets for LAL with the spaced out LeBron-at-5 lineup, but LAC managed two FG’s at the rim on the other end. – 11:54 PM

Brad Turner @BA_Turner
Anthony Davis has 12 points, 5, LeBron James 7 points and Carmelo Anthony 8, but the Lakers trail the Clippers 53-50 at the half. – 11:11 PM

Bill Oram @billoram
Lakers trailed by 11 with 90 seconds left in the half, but closed it out on a 10-2 run to pull within 53-50. Anthony Davis with 12 points, 5 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony 8 points, LeBron 7. – 11:10 PM

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
Ellington out there alongside LeBron, AD, Russ + Melo pays off in the final two minutes, as he drills a 3 from each side of the court to quickly trim what grew to an 11-point lead down to 5.
AD then drew a foul with 4.0 seconds left, and hit 2 FT’s to cap a 10-2 run. – 11:09 PM

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
LeBron scrambled to switch over to Zubac to relieve a guard on a mismatch, and Zubac couldn’t move him, leading to a turnover. LAL turned it over on the other end, though, as LeBron tried a lob to Reaves, and LAL still trail by 1. – 10:49 PM

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina
LeBron James tried to throw a lob pass to Austin Reaves. That would’ve been something if it worked. – 10:49 PM

Kyle Goon @kylegoon
LeBron James with the drive-in lay-up and foul against Brandon Boston, a former Sierra Canyon teammate of Bronny James. – 10:45 PM

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
LeBron at C, ‘Melo at PF to start the 2nd Q. – 10:39 PM

Andrew Greif @AndrewGreif
Brandon Boston Jr. on the floor with LeBron for the first time tonight — former Sierra Canyon player, meet Sierra Canyon spectator. – 10:38 PM

Bob Garcia @bgarciaivsports
High IQ play by Dwight to get LeBron that easy transition dunk – 10:18 PM

Law Murray @LawMurrayTheNU
Paul George’s first turnover is a bad pocket pass that results in LeBron James’ first field goal on the break.
Two plays before that, Reggie Jackson had to foul after James stole it from him.
Tyronn Lue calls timeout with the game tied at 8-8, 7:18 left in first quarter – 10:17 PM

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
Really unique start to this game, with both teams massive for modern standards. It’s 8-8 at the 7:18 mark after a LeBron dunk courtesy of a pretty touch pass from Howard.
Clips started Morris at the 3 (their usual small ball 5), Ibaka the 4 and Zubac the 5 to counter LAL. – 10:17 PM

Kyle Goon @kylegoon
LeBron has entered the chat. He ties it at 8 with a fastbreak dunk, and Ty Lue calls a timeout. Four different Lakers have scored already. – 10:16 PM

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina
Before tipoff, LeBron James pointing at Clippers coach Ty Lue and exchanging some trash talk – 10:10 PM

Ben Golliver @BenGolliver
Lakers’ LeBron James, fresh off a two-day stint in NBA’s covid-19 health and safety protocols, ready to go for “Battle of LA” against Clippers at Staples Center pic.twitter.com/Ukfj3Ky0PI10:01 PM

StatMuse @statmuse
Darius Garland tonight:
32 PTS
8 REB
10 AST
11-17 FG
5-6 3P
He is the third Cavs player ever with a 30/8/10 game before turning 22. The other two were LeBron and Kyrie. pic.twitter.com/7qF3vp3W4C9:55 PM

Mirjam Swanson @MirjamSwanson
LA vs Los Angeles
LAC
Marcus Morris Sr.
Serge Ibaka
Ivica Zubac
Paul George
Reggie Jackson
LAL
LeBron James
Anthony Davis
Dwight Howard
Talen Horton-Tucker
Russell Westbrook – 9:32 PM

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
The Lakers say LeBron James is back and starting against the Clippers.
More NBA from me: https://t.co/LGN9cVpeGP pic.twitter.com/WNIu7X12Dz9:31 PM

Rashad Mobley @rashad20
Losing by 30+ points to a LeBron-less Cavs team is bad, but hey, at least it isn’t a 73-point deficit amirite? – 8:48 PM

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina
Lakers coach Frank Vogel not sure if LeBron James did individual work privately while he was away from the team because of health protocols. But Vogel suspects LeBron got some work in – 8:27 PM

Mirjam Swanson @MirjamSwanson
Chatted with Ivica Zubac pregame, @TomerAzarly wondered: “LeBron was expected to be out, then cleared protocol – did that change anything for you guys in the last couple days?”
Zu: “I mean, he’s one of the best players in the world. It changed our scouting report a little bit.” – 8:27 PM

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter
Westbrook, THT, LeBron, AD and Howard will start tonight (another new starting 5).
Vogel said Avery Bradley is technically available with the sprained thumb, but he won’t start, and we’ll see if he ends up being used. – 8:21 PM

Kyle Goon @kylegoon
Frank Vogel said he was told it was “a possibility” that LeBron could clear protocols earlier than expected, but proceeded as if he could miss more time until he was told otherwise.
Dwight Howard will be in the starting lineup, as Vogel suggested yesterday. THT will also start. – 8:20 PM

Jovan Buha @jovanbuha
Lakers’ starters against the Clippers:
Dwight Howard
Anthony Davis
LeBron James
Talen Horton-Tucker
Russell Westbrook – 8:20 PM

Kamenetzky Brothers @KamBrothers
Lakers starting lineup: Russ-THT-LeBron-AD-Dwight. Avery Bradley is available, and the game itself will dictate whether or not he plays. AK – 8:20 PM

Dave McMenamin @mcten
Lakers starters tonight, per Frank Vogel: LeBron, AD, Russ, Dwight and THT – 8:20 PM

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina
What should we expect with LeBron James’ return? How has Brandon Ingram handled a tough season in New Orleans? I talk about that & more with @JaredSGreenberg on @NBATV. Tune in at 4:10 pm PT – 6:54 PM

Ryan Ward @RyanWardLA
Updated Lakers’ status report. AD, LeBron and Bradley are all PROBABLE: pic.twitter.com/rKZ4ejf9M02:59 PM

Aaron Rose @AaronBenRose
Off day question for y’all: Would you trade Scottie Barnes for 36-year-old LeBron James on a two-year deal? Who is the most valuable player you wouldn’t trade Scottie for?
tiktok.com/@Aaron Rose/… – 2:21 PM

Chris Sheridan @sheridanhoops
Prop bets on LeBron James and Jae’Sean Tate are enticing tonight. #Sus huge ‘dogs at #Warrors despite 18 straight Ws. SMH. usblog.betway.com/nba/nba-bettin…12:06 PM

Bill Oram @billoram
Come for the outdated analysis of the Lakers prospects without LeBron James, stay for my 5-year-old getting into the cocktail mixers. New Forum Club with @Jovan Buha. Out now. https://t.co/dOB5MaKXFo https://t.co/jyv9C9Q0ZG pic.twitter.com/Yd7IX6K4RX11:05 AM

Kamenetzky Brothers @KamBrothers
Friday’s @LockedOnLakers podcast! LeBron is back! Dwight is now the designated true center. And we talked Frank Vogel and Lakers-Clippers with @sabreenajm! #FirstListen @LockedOnNetwork @LockedOnNBAPods
Subscribe. Rate. Enjoy. Thanks!
podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/leb…10:41 AM

Wes Goldberg @wcgoldberg
🏀 Suns win 18 straight
🏀 Oh no, Thunder
🏀 LeBron clears protocols 🐟
And more! All the scores and news from last night on a new Locked On #NBA Friday pod with @Adam Mares
apple.co/32X2zgx9:37 AM

More on this storyline

James said he knew he was going to get cleared because he never felt sick at all. James said earlier this season that he was vaccinated. “If what I had was a positive COVID test, then what are we doing? What are we talking about?” James said Friday. “I just thought it was handled very poorly, but being able to get cleared was definitely a breath of fresh air for not only myself, but for my family, friends and everybody that’s involved.” -via The Athletic / December 4, 2021

James said he tested negative first and his second test came back positive. He said he had to figure out a way to get home from Sacramento by himself Tuesday, as he wasn’t allowed to have anyone travel home with him. When he returned to Los Angeles, James had to put his family in isolation, calling it a “big-time inconvenience.” “Usually when you have a positive test, they’ll test you right away to make sure,” James said. “There was not a follow-up test after my positive test. It was straight into isolation and you’ve been put into protocol. That was the part that kind of angered me.” -via The Athletic / December 4, 2021

LeBron James said his brief stint in the NBA’s health and safety protocols left him feeling “confused,” “frustrated” and “angry” after his first game back in the Lakers’ 119-115 loss to the LA Clippers on Friday night. James missed the Lakers’ game against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday after returning a positive test for COVID-19 on Tuesday morning that required him to isolate from his team and fly back to L.A. solo on a plane chartered by the team. “I knew I was going to get cleared because I never, ever felt sick at all,” James said after finishing with 23 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals against the Clippers. “I just thought it was just handled very poorly.” -via ESPN / December 4, 2021

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting