Twitter is mourning the death of fairness in the NBA right now. They are lowering down caskets of premature tweets about how LeBron James was surely going to taste the wrath of NBA commissioner Adam Silver after it was found that the Los Angeles Lakers superstar had violated the league’s health and safety protocols.
Did these people really think that the NBA would go ahead and hand down a verdict forcing LeBron to likely miss the entire first round of the playoffs against the Phoenix Suns?
Look, the NBA is already unable to generate as much money as it usually does because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking LeBron out of the equation –even for just the fraction of it — of the most important portion of the season could be a huge financial blow to the league. The NBA already shot itself in the foot with the Play-In Tournament, which is arguably a hit, but that same idea also cost them Stephen Curry in the playoffs. Instead of Curry, we are getting ourselves a higher dosage of the Grayson Allen experience.
Not that the league would just fold up and cease operation just because LeBron had to play video games and FaceTime Alex Caruso every halftime against the Suns while quarantining from an opulent suite, but just the thought of Silver commanding the future Hall of Famer to step away from basketball for any reason seems otherworldly. Between that and Rudy Gobert single-handedly causing the league to shut down temporarily last season, I’m honestly not sure which is more absurd.
LeBron James not getting the punishment the entire non-Los Angeles Lakers universe is craving for could turn into a lasting black eye for the league. The optics just don’t look good from almost every angle, especially when you consider the fact that guys like Dennis Schroder and Caris LeVert had to miss games for the same reason.
But then again, they’re not LeBron James.