LeBron James missed the Los Angeles Lakers’ game on Tuesday and will remain out indefinitely after entering the NBA’s health and safety protocols, indicating the vaccinated NBA star registered a positive or inconclusive test for Covid-19, which could make James the most prominent athlete with a breakthrough infection.
His teammate Anthony Davis said that James was asymptomatic and that “Covid’s a scary thing” in comments that suggested he’d tested positive, which TMZ reported earlier on Tuesday. NBA teams have left public disclosure of Covid test results to players, and the Lakers have not elaborated on the details of James’s situation.
“Hopefully this is something that’s short-term,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “We’ll see.”
The team arranged for James’s transportation to Los Angeles from Sacramento, said Vogel, who declined to specify whether his best player traveled by plane or car. “Health and safety protocols,” Vogel said. “That’s all I can say.”
The NBA’s vaccinated players are sidelined by the league’s protocols only if they have registered positive or inconclusive tests, not if they have been exposed to the coronavirus or if they were determined to be close contacts. If a vaccinated player tests positive, the league’s pandemic rules mandate that he’s out at least 10 days or until he returns two negative tests at least 24 hours apart.