Lakers’ LeBron James gets off scot-free from COVID-19 protocol violation, NBA explains why
ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the league has decided NOT to penalize LeBron James for his actions that appeared to violate health and safety protocols. This means that he is expected to be available for Game 1 of the Lakers’ first-round matchup against the Phoenix Suns.
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
LeBron James was caught attending a publicity event for a tequila brand that he reportedly has a stake in. The league had previously informed the LA franchise that James had been deemed to have violated health and safety protocols. But the news of his non-suspension comes just hours after the initial reports condemning the Lakers superstar. The initial report comes from ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
“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.
REPORT: LeBron James “was found to be in breach of the NBA's health and safety protocols” when he attended an event with Drake Tuesday night, via @mcten
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) May 22, 2021
The report is welcome news for Lakers fans and their franchise, but is sort of a puzzling one for objective observers. The reason cited for his non-suspension was due to the fact that “the nature of the event didn’t rise to a threat level of virus spread.”
That’s a highly subjective line of reasoning.
The last thing the NBA wants to do is suspend their biggest star playing for one of the largest sports franchises in the entire world. With ratings this year dipping to undesirable levels, that just wouldn’t be good for business. While the motivation behind the matter is clear and understandable, the double standard the NBA is showing here has become pretty blatant. This especially coming after the NBA suspended Caris LeVert for violating health and safety protocols just days prior.
Game One of Lakers vs. Suns is on Sunday.