LeBron James Could Miss Several Lakers Games After Being Sidelined by COVID-19 Protocols

LeBron James has been placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols and could miss a significant amount of time. According to USA Today, James will likely miss several games for the Los Angeles Lakers. The team didn't reveal whether James tested positive for COVID-19, but James told reporters before the start of the season he's vaccinated

"Obviously, it's a huge loss," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said before the Lakers' game against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, per ESPN. "It's disappointing. We just want the best for him right now. That's where our thoughts are. And we have a next man up mindset." The team found out that James was entering the health and safety protocols on Tuesday morning. Vogel didn't reveal the symptoms James is experiencing, but his teammate Anthony Davis shared more information with reporters. 

"He said he's good," Davis said. "I think he's asymptomatic, which is a good sign, but we want to make sure that he gets back. Health is most important. This is bigger than basketball. He has a family. We want to make sure that he's good no matter what." Per NBA rules, if a player has confirmed a positive test of COVID-19, the league mandates a minimum of 10 days of isolation away from his team without any physical activity. The player then will undergo cardiac screening and reconditioning in order to be cleared. 

"I know I was very (skeptical) about it all, but after doing my research, I felt like it was best-suited not only for me but for my family and for my friends. That's why I decided to do it," James told reporters in September. "We're talking about people's bodies. We're not talking about something political or racism or police brutality, things of that nature. I don't feel like for me personally that I should get involved in what other people should do for their bodies or their livelihoods." 

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James being placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols comes shortly after his one-game suspension for getting into an altercation with Detroit Pistons played Isaiah Stewart. He also got two Indiana Pacers fans ejected from a game for saying derogatory statements.