UPDATE (12/2/2021): The Los Angeles Lakers will get LeBron James back much faster than what was originally planned, as Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that he will play tomorrow against the Clippers.
James has had multiple rounds of negative test results since returning to Los Angeles from Sacramento on Tuesday evening, multiple sources said. It appears the initial positive test ultimately was inconclusive result. https://t.co/p9FO9zUv1r
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 2, 2021
There was a possibility that LeBron could miss up to 10 days with his positive test on Tuesday, however, it turns out that that test was a false positive and that he has actually produced eight negative tests since that initial one (per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin). You can read the NBA’s full statement on the matter here.
Above all else, let’s be thankful that LeBron didn’t actually contract the virus, even if he is vaccinated against it. Now, let’s get back to basketball.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James will be out against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday due to the NBA’s health and safety protocol, according to the team. That has been the league’s official name for the protocol for COVID-19 related issues.
James told the media before the season began that he was vaccinated. The NBA’s protocol this year has been that vaccinated individuals do not have to quarantine if contact tracing confirms them to have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. That would seem to imply that James himself has tested positive.
The Athletic’s Shame Charania reports that James will have to be sidelined for at least 10 days or until he returns two consecutive negative tests in 24 hours. That appears to be the league protocol for positive tests. The Clippers’ Nicolas Batum is a recent example.
LeBron James has not played in more than three consecutive games this season, already missing 11 games to injury or suspension. The Lakers are 4-7 when the superstar is sidelined.
The 10-day timetable would see James miss games against the Kings, Clippers, Celtics and Grizzlies at least. The Grizzlies game is the first of a back-to-back before the Lakers face the Thunder on December 10th, so James may miss that game as well.