The NBA Playoffs officially begin this weekend and everyone is obviously pumped. But there was a side story brewing Friday evening into Saturday morning revolving around Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin dropped a bombshell report in the wee hours of Saturday morning that James had violated the league’s health and safety protocols by attending an event for his tequila brand this week.
New story: The Lakers were notified by the NBA that LeBron James violated protocols by attending an event for his tequila brand earlier this week, a league spokesman told ESPN https://t.co/gBs8fZBfJo
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 22, 2021
Given the fact that fellow Laker Dennis Schroder was recently suspended for seven games due to the exact same protocols, the NBA rumor mill was set on fire. Would LeBron James actually be forced to miss at least the start of the Lakers’ quest to repeat as NBA champs?
Of course, that was answered with a resounding ‘No’ several hours later.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski followed up on McMenamin’s story with the confirming news that James would not be suspended by the NBA for the protocol violation.
LeBron James won't be suspended for protocols violation, sources tell ESPN. Nature of event didn't rise to a threat level of virus spread, as described in @McTen's story below. Suns-Lakers Game 1 on Sunday. https://t.co/nEAcnBsbvv
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 22, 2021
Not sure who is actually surprised by the judiciary process that played out. The odds of the NBA suspending their anointed one ahead of a playoff series that he and the big-ticket Lakers could very well lose regardless are virtually nonexistent.
In fact, they’re probably even longer than LeBron James, Dennis Schroder or any of us laypersons encountering a treacherous bout with the virus! For those who haven’t done their research, that equates to some pretty darn long odds.
Among those who knew well in advance what the league’s decision would be was none other than Charles Barkley:
"Ain't no f***ing way LeBron James is going to be sit out because of health and safety protocols."
Charles Barkley weighs in on the NBA and LeBron as only he can 🗣
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) May 22, 2021
And there it is. Chuck just putting into words exactly what everyone else is thinking.
The hypocrisy of the NBA needs to be addressed here. The league had no problem making an example out of LeBron’s own teammate for a violation of protocols. How was Dennis Schroder’s violation different from James’? After all, they both violated the same protocols.
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Oh wait, maybe it’s because Schroder is one of the only Lakers refusing to get the virus vaccine…
As if I couldn’t love Dennis Schroeder anymore.
The man said kiss my ass with ya’ll’s bullshit covid vaccine.🤣🤣👌 pic.twitter.com/Hd3EnxkluI
— KingdomKobe (@KingdomKobe) May 18, 2021
Now, that’s not the reasoning coming from league headquarters of course. Apparently, the event LeBron James attended did not produce any threats of virus spread despite the violation.
Ummm…WTF?!?! What does that even mean??
This whole saga is about as mind-boggling, hypocritical and funny as the past 14 months have been. Thanks for the good laugh, NBA! Now, go grow a pair would ya?