Turns out, the Lakers won’t be without superstar LeBron James for an extended period of time after all.
The NBA requires that a player who tests positive for COVID-19 must be out of his team for a minimum of 10 days or until he returns two negative PCR tests within a 24-hour period. That put James at risk of missing the next five Los Angeles games, beginning with his absence Tuesday night against the Sacramento Kings.
After the victory, Star forward Anthony Davis said he spoke to James., saying, “He said he’s fine. I think he’s asymptomatic, which is a good sign, but we want to make sure he comes back. Health is the most important thing. This is more important than basketball. He has a family. We want to make sure he make it good whatever happens … Like I said, it seemed to be fine. “
Just two days later, the NBA announced that LeBron has been removed from the league’s health and safety protocols, eligible to return for Friday’s December 3 game against the LA Clippers.
This is why.
Why was LeBron James removed from the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols?
Thursday, the NBA issued a statement, saying, “After two negative PCR tests performed more than 24 hours apart, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James passed the NBA Health and Safety Protocols.
James was originally placed in the Protocols on Tuesday, November 30 after a series of tests returned conflicting results, including an initial positive test that was collected on November 29. Additional tests confirmed that it is not a positive case.
“In accordance with the Protocols, and the constant testing practice that has been in place since the restart of the 2019-20 season in Orlando, the sample that produced the initial positive test was repeated twice and returned a negative result and a positive result. on two different PCR instruments. As a result, James underwent additional testing on November 30, with one test negative and a second test clinically inconclusive. “
MORE: What are the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols?
In layman’s terms: LeBron’s initial test could have been a false positive, as one test came back positive and the other negative. Once the star forward underwent further testing, he produced one negative test, and the other was an inconclusive result.
Shams Charania of Athletic reported that James had “multiple rounds of negative results since returning to Los Angeles from Sacramento on Tuesday night,” which may explain LeBron’s cryptic tweet on Wednesday, December 1.
🤔Something is REAL 🐠 🐟 🎣 🐟🐠
– LeBron James (@KingJames) December 1, 2021
The Lakers were originally in line to face the Clippers on ESPN on Friday, but with James’ expected absence, the league flexed the Battle of Los Angeles off national television in favor of a rematch between the top two NBA records. : the warriors against the suns.
MORE: Will the Lakers play more with LeBron James in center?
Although his return will not come on the national stage, the Lakers will welcome James with open arms as they try to get their season back on track, with a disappointing 12-11 start.
The Lakers will face the Clippers at 10 p.m. ET on Friday, December 3.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.