The NBA explains why Lakers star LeBron James was not suspended for attending event

Lakers forward LeBron James smiles during a game against the Golden State Warriors.
Lakers forward LeBron James will not face a suspension or any penalties for attending a promotional event.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

The NBA announced LeBron James won’t be subject to any quarantine penalties after attending an event for his tequila brand last week.

“To clarify any remaining misconception, LeBron James briefly attended an outdoor event last week where participants were required to be vaccinated or return a negative test result. Under these circumstances and in consultation with medical experts, it was determined that his attendance did not create risks related to the spread of COVID-19 and therefore no quarantine was necessary,” NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said in a statement. “Over the course of this season, there have been numerous similar violations of the league’s Health and Safety Protocols, which were addressed with the player’s team in a similar fashion.

“Under current NBA rules, vaccinated players are permitted to engage in outside activities including their individual commercial arrangements, such as sponsor appearances or ad shoots.”


Asked about the event following Game 1, James didn’t answer.

‘NBA on TNT’ analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal break down the Lakers’ Game 1 loss to the Suns, discussing how L.A. can get back on track.

“I’ll be ready for Game 2,” he said.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel said he had “no reaction” to learning about the event, which was held last Monday and attended by entertainers Drake and Michael B. Jordan in addition to James.

“He knows what he’s doing,” Vogel said before Sunday‘s game. “We trust his decision-making.”

James has not disclosed whether he received the COVID-19 vaccine. “It’s not a big deal,” he said last week in response to a question about it.

Monday, the Lakers reached the 85% vaccination threshold among players and staff allowing for more relaxed protocols and testing, Vogel said.

Lakers-Suns schedule for first-round playoff series.
(Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)