LeBron James will return for the Lakers’ Friday night game against the LA Clippers after briefly entering the NBA’s “health and safety protocols.”
On Tuesday, the fully vaccinated LeBron James abruptly skipped out on the Sacramento Kings matchup when he tested positive for the coronavirus. According to current NBA mandates, a player must isolate for ten days if they test positive for the coronavirus.
“After that period, a player must undergo a cardiac screening and reconditioning in order to be cleared to return to the court,” noted ESPN. “A player who tests positive could also clear protocol by returning two negative PCR tests within a 24-hour period.”
Since Tuesday, James has reportedly submitted eight negative coronavirus tests, sources told ESPN, clearing him to return. During his brief hiatus, the basketball star lamented about the policies on Twitter:
James’ tweet echoes a similar sentiment expressed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2020 when he took multiple coronavirus tests and received different results.
“Something extremely bogus is going on. Was tested for covid four times today. Two tests came back negative, two came back positive. Same machine, same test, same nurse. Rapid antigen test from BD,” tweeted Musk.
Hoping to clear up any confusion, the NBA released a statement on Thursday explaining how the events unfolded with LeBron James, explaining that his two negative PCR tests were 24 hours apart, clearing him of any hazardous potential.
Following two negative PCR tests conducted more than 24 hours apart, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James has cleared the NBA’s Health & Safety Protocols.
James was originally placed in the Protocols on Tuesday, November 30 after a series of tests delivered conflicting results, including an initial positive test that was collected on November 29. Additional testing confirmed that he is not a positive case.
In accordance with the Protocols, and the consistent testing practice that has been in place since the 2019-20 Season Restart in Orlando, the sample that produced the initial positive test was re-run twice and returned one negative and one positive result on two different PCR instruments. As a result, James underwent additional testing on November 30, with one test returning a negative result and a second test resulting in a clinically inconclusive result.
Despite James’ absence at the game on Tuesday, the Lakers beat the Kings handily, 117 – 92.
This past September, LeBron claimed he was vaccinated from the coronavirus; however, as the New York Times noted at the time, he previously evaded several questions about his vaccination status and did not say which vaccine he received or the exact number of shots.
“I think everyone has their own choice to do what they feel is right for themselves and their family,” James said. “I know that I was very skeptical about it all, but after doing my research and things of that nature, I felt like it was best suited for not only me but for my family and my friends, and that’s why I decided to do it.”
James also said he would not use his massive platform to promote the vaccines.
“We’re talking about individuals’ bodies,” he said. “We’re not talking about something that’s political or racism or police brutality and things of that nature.”
“So I don’t feel like for me personally that I should get involved in what other people should do for their bodies and their livelihoods,” he added.