LeBron James won’t be suspended for partying with Drake and Michael B. Jordan

LeBron James smiles during a game
Lakers forward LeBron James won’t be suspended for violating COVID protocols and can play in the first round of the playoffs, the NBA ruled.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

LeBron James has been cleared to play for the Lakers in the first round of the NBA playoffs after he violated the league’s COVID health and safety protocols by attending a promotional event for his tequila company, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

Before taking the court Wednesday for the play-in game against the Golden State Warriors, the four-time champion partied with rapper Drake and actor Michael B. Jordan at an outdoor photo shoot to promote James’ Lobos 1707 tequila. Attendees had to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to participate, but the NBA said the event still violated its rules.

The Lakers were teetering against the Warriors when their exhausted leader made the winning shot, because he’s LeBron James. Don’t ever forget that.

“It’s a violation of the agreed-upon protocols, and, as we have in other comparable instances around the league, it has been addressed with the team,” a representative for the league told ESPN.


Drake and Jordan were courtside as James made the game-winning three-point shot to beat the Warriors and send the Lakers into a first-round series against the Suns.

Several other players have had to face the consequences of violating COVID protocols, including James’ teammate Dennis Schroder, who’s had to sit out twice because of contact tracing rules.

Dennis Schroder, who returned to the Lakers’ lineup Friday to help snap a four-game losing streak, thinks the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols need improving.

Nets forward Kevin Durant was removed from a game in February because he had come into contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. He also among the players who contracted COVID-19 when the league was shut down last year.

For his part, James didn’t seem fazed by the investigation as he posted his viral salsa dance on social media and expressed his excitement at Ja Morant leading the Grizzlies past the Warriors and Simone Biles becoming the first woman to land the Yurchenko double pike vault.

The Lakers play the Suns in Phoenix on Sunday in the first game of the series.