It turns out Lakers star LeBron James did not have COVID-19, and will get to play against the Clippers rather than missing 10 days.
LeBron James’ stint in the health and safety protocols was a short one, as he was cleared to return on Thursday afternoon and is set to play for the Lakers on Friday against the Clippers, according to multiple reports.
The league itself announced James would be eligible to play on Friday, explaining their reasoning in a statement also released on Thursday afternoon, essentially in an attempt to pre-empt any accusations that James was given special treatment.
James entered health and safety protocols on Tuesday afternoon, hours before the team’s game in Sacramento. His absence was due to a positive COVID-19 test, but James was able to return multiple negative results in the days since and — as per the league’s protocols — will be cleared for the team’s game on Friday as a result.
As he’s wont to do, James’ cryptic tweet on Wednesday — which was also a perfectly on-brand tweet as well — raised some eyebrows about his situation and looks particularly noteworthy in hindsight now knowing that he returned a false positive test and will be cleared to return. It’s no surprise he was frustrated.
Teammate Anthony Davis revealed after Tuesday’s game that he had talked to James, who had both tested positive for COVID-19 and was asymptomatic, which again is obvious in hindsight. Without him against the Kings, the Lakers rallied in the second half for their first blowout win of the season.
James’ season has been a tumultuous one, this being the latest wild example. He has featured in just 11 games through a myriad of injuries, suspensions and this stint in health and safety protocols.
However, until the next unexpected domino drops, all things appear (relatively) normal in Lakerland again as James will return to the court on Friday.