The blame falls to Drake.
His Instagram post from an event promoting 1707 tequila included a pic of LeBron James, without a mask and not socially distanced from anyone else. That raised eyebrows and led segments of NBA Twitter — especially LeBron’s haters and Suns fans — to call for him to miss games.
The league did not force LeBron to quarantine and miss games. This, of course, led to cries of favoritism. Trying to clear things up, the NBA released a statement on its decision.
NBA Statement: pic.twitter.com/WBdU6vdR4Q
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) May 24, 2021
This follows what a league source told NBC Sports at the time: Numerous players across the league violated protocols at various times during the season, and in nearly every case the league only took it up with the team and there was no quarantine. The reasoning was the violations in those cases were highly unlikely to spread the disease. Players were forced into quarantine only when they put themselves in a position where the virus easily could spread, for example James Harden being pictured at a crowded club where there was no testing.
Also, notice the last line of the league statement, which implies LeBron has been vaccinated. He has dodged questions about whether or not he received the vaccine, saying a personal matter.
LeBron played in Game 1 of the Lakers’ first-round playoff series against the Suns on Sunday, but was not attacking and aggressive. He took just four shots in the paint (making two) but seven 3-pointers (he hit three of those) — when LeBron is playing well and getting downhill, he gets far more shots at the rim (he also went 1-of-2 on midrange shots in the game). Los Angeles will need an aggressive LeBron on Tuesday.