Los Angeles Lakers All-Star forward LeBron James wasn’t happy with the way that his recent positive COVID-19 test was handled by the NBA. James was forced to enter the NBA’s health and safety protocols earlier this week after registering a positive test, but he was back in action against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night after returning two negative PCR tests within 24 hours. After the game against the Clippers, James expressed some frustration with the way that the situation was handled.
“I knew I was going to get cleared. I never ever felt sick at all,” James said. “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.
“Usually when you have a positive test, they’ll test you right away to make sure,” James added. “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. I had to figure out a way to get home from Sacramento by myself. They wouldn’t allow anyone to travel with me, no security, no anything, when I traveled back from Sacramento. And then I had to put my kids in isolation for the time being, the people in my household in isolation for the time being, so it was just a big-time inconvenience. That was the anger part.”
Being forced to miss L.A.’s 117-92 win over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night added to James’ annoyance with the situation, as he felt like he was finally getting into a rhythm heading into that game after missing substantial time already this season due to injury issues.
“Going into Sacramento, I was getting into the rhythm — a really, really good rhythm — like offensively, defensively,” James said. “It’s just been very frustrating either dealing with the groin or the abdomen, and then having to deal with the false positive that knocked me out a game, then knocked me off the floor and not being able to keep my rhythm. It’s just … it’s been a very challenging year to start a fourth of the season for myself. But, only good things ahead.”
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James has appeared in just 12 of the Lakers’ 24 games so far this season. Given that their best player has been in and out of the lineup, it’s not especially surprising that the team sits at just 12-12 — good for seventh in the West — as they haven’t had much of an opportunity to develop consistent chemistry. If James can stay on the floor moving forward, the Lakers should be able to climb up the standings in the West. If not, their struggles could continue.