NBA just explained why LeBron James wouldn't be punished for violating COVID bubble rules after attending a promotional event last week. James was one of the celebrities who attended the event, which was for a tequila brand he backs. This happened right before the Los Angeles Lakers' play-in-game against the Golden State Warriors.
"To clarify any remaining misconception, LeBron James briefly attended an outdoor event last week where participants were required to be vaccinated or return a negative test result," the NBA's statement said. "Under these circumstances and in consultation with medical experts, it was determined that his attendance did not create risks related to the spread of COVID-19 and therefore no quarantine was necessary. Over the course of this season, there have been numerous similar violations of the league's Health and Safety Protocols, which were addressed with the players' team in a similar fashion. Under current NBA rules, vaccinated players are permitted to engage in outside activities including their individual commercial arrangements, such as sponsor appearances or ad shoots."
According to league protocols, players who violate the rules are subject to warnings, fines or suspensions. On Friday, James was asked about possibly not being with the Lakers for up to two weeks affected his decision of whether to getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
"Anything I do off the floor is predicated to my family, for the majority -- for 99.9% of that," James said as reported by ESPN. "So it's about the health and safety of my family, and that's what it came down to. "Me being available to my teammates on the floor is me taking care of my body. Me doing everything I can do to make sure I'm available both mentally, physically and spiritually, as well. But anything of that nature, that's all family talk." James was then asked if he received the vaccine and replied, "It's not a big deal."
If James was punished by the NBA and had to miss games, it would be a big blow to the Lakers, who nearly missed the postseason. After beating the Warriors in the play-in tournament game, the Lakers lost to the Phoenix Suns in Game 1 of the first round of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. The Lakers will look to get back on track on Tuesday when they face the Suns in Game 2.