He was back on the court Friday night against the Clippers and after the game laid out his frustrations with the NBA’s COVID-19 testing system.
Lakers’ LeBron James: “Usually when you have a positive test, they’ll test you right away to make sure. There was not a follow-up test after my positive test. It was straight to isolation and you’ve been put into protocol. That’s the part that kind of angered me.” pic.twitter.com/vjTRwBNYUv
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) December 4, 2021
Here’s more of the quote, for context.
“Usually when you have a positive test, they’ll test you right away to make sure. There was not a follow-up test after my positive test. It was straight to isolation and you’ve been put into protocol. That’s the part that kind of angered me. I had to figure out a way to get home from Sacramento by myself. They wouldn’t allow anyone to travel with me, no security, no anything, when I traveled back from Sacramento.
“And then I had to put my kids in isolation for the time being, the people in my household in isolation for the time being, so it was just a big-time inconvenience. That was the anger part….
“We’ve all been doing exactly what the protocols have told us to do and taking the tests and things of that nature. It’s unfortunate when you get a false positive and you get put right into isolation. That’s just the unfortunate part. But we’ll see what happens.”
It’s easy to see why LeBron would be frustrated, the process has its flaws.
With the Omicron variant spreading and the effectiveness of the vaccines fading after six months, the NBA increased testing around the league after Thanksgiving and has been ramping up efforts to get players a booster shot. About 97% of NBA players are vaccinated, according to the league.
Including LeBron, but he still had the false positive that kept him out a game.
LeBron’s return to the court was not enough to improve the Lakers’ defense, especially down the stretch, and the Lakers fell to the Clippers 119-115. LeBron had 23 points on 9-of-23 shooting for the game.