Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James’ frustrated ‘with NBA’s COVID-19 testing process


LOS ANGELES – LeBron James said his brief stint in NBA health and safety protocols left him “confused,” “frustrated” and “angry” after his first game in the 119-115 loss of the Lakers vs. LA Clippers Friday night.

James missed the Lakers game against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday after testing positive for COVID-19 Tuesday morning which required him to isolate himself from his team and return to LA solo on a plane chartered by the team.

“I knew I was going to be eliminated because I never felt sick at all,” said James after finishing with 23 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals against the Clippers. “I just thought it was just badly handled.”

James said he initially tested negative on Tuesday and then tested positive in a follow-up test. The league reintroduced more rigorous testing in its squads after Thanksgiving, hoping to spot any cases that may have arisen of players widening their circles around family and friends for the holidays.

“Usually when you test positive they test you right away to make sure,” James said. “There was no follow-up test after I tested positive. It was straight into segregation and you were put into a protocol. This is the part that pissed me off a little. I had to find out a way back from Sacramento in They wouldn’t allow anybody to travel with me, no security, nothing, when I came back from Sacramento.

“And then I had to put my kids in segregation right now, the people in my house in segregation right now, so that was just a big inconvenience. It was the anger part.”

James was cleared to return to training Thursday afternoon after returning a second negative PCR test within 24 hours. James has returned eight negative tests in total since returning to Los Angeles until he was cleared on Thursday, sources told ESPN.

Just as the league did not demand that its players receive the COVID-19 vaccine but imposed stricter testing and social distancing rules for those who weren’t vaccinated compared to those who were, the NBA will roll out a similar app later this month when it comes to COVID-19 booster shots, The Athletic reported on Friday.

James gave a roundabout response when asked if he had received a reminder and whether the process he had gone through over the past few days had affected his thinking about receiving the reminder if he didn’t. had not yet done.

“No, this process… we all did exactly what the protocols told us to do and passed the tests and things of that nature,” he said. “It’s unfortunate when you get a false positive and you’re put in segregation. That’s just the unfortunate part. But we’ll see what happens.”

Meanwhile, the Lakers saw their meager two-game winning streak shattered against a Clippers team that came into the night after losing six of their previous eight games.

James, who said he hadn’t picked up a basketball from the end of the LA game against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday until the shootout on Friday, admitted his pace was affected by nature stop -and-go of its season. He played the Lakers’ first three games, then missed two games with an ankle injury. Then he played the next three games for the Lakers, then missed the next eight with abdominal strain. Then he played two games before missing a game due to the first suspension in his 19-year career. Then he played three games before missing the Kings game.

“Coming into Sacramento I was picking up the pace – a really, really good pace – like offensively, defensively,” said James. “It’s just very frustrating to treat the groin or abdomen and then having to deal with the false positive that knocked me out one game then knocked me off the floor and couldn’t keep up with my pace . It’s just … It has been a very difficult year to start a fourth of the season for myself. But, what good things to come. “

Friday’s loss dropped the Lakers to 12-12, seventh in the Western Conference, with their next game Tuesday at home against a Boston Celtics team that beat LA solidly at TD Garden on November 19.

“It’s just tough when you’re in and out of the roster, especially when, I guess, you don’t really have a reason to be out,” said Anthony Davis, thinking back to the James saga. “We were playing well. So it’s a little frustrating, but nobody feels sorry for us. We don’t feel sorry for ourselves. We have to go out and play basketball games with whoever is available.”


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