In what has been a rough season for the Lakers, Los Angeles has to deal with yet another setback.
According to Dave Mcmenamin of ESPN, Lakers forward LeBron James has been placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN also reported that James is set to miss several games.
James was placed in the protocol on Tuesday, as it is believed he tested positive for coronavirus. The Lakers have not confirmed his positive test, but as the Lakers spoke to the media, it seems to be the case.
“He said he’s good,” Lakers forward Anthony Davis said. “I think he’s asymptomatic which is a good sign. We want to make sure that he gets back. Health is most important. It’s bigger than basketball.”
James sat out for the Lakers’ 117-92 win over the Sacramento Kings. The Lakers placed guard Talen Horton-Tucker in the starting lineup in place of James.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel found out about James being placed in the protocol on Tuesday morning and looked at James’s absence as an opportunity for players to step up.
“Obviously, it’s a huge loss,” Vogel said, “It’s disappointing. We just want the best for him right now. That’s where our thoughts are. And we have a next man up mindset.”
The Lakers are in an interesting situation. They are 5-7 without James this season. James recently returned from an abdominal injury, and earlier in the season, he had a right ankle injury.
According to the health and safety protocol, James must sit out for 10 days. The Lakers are back in action on Friday when they play their rival (and neighbor) Los Angeles Clippers. So, it will be interesting to see how the Lakers respond to James’s absence.
The season has been a challenge, but if all goes well, James and the Lakers can become true contenders.