LeBron James tests positive for COVID-19, ruled out Tuesday: Report

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Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, grimaces after making a basket against the Detroit Pistons, with guard Russell Westbrook, left, looking up at a video replay during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, grimaces after making a basket against the Detroit Pistons, with guard Russell Westbrook, left, looking up at a video replay during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

(AP / WJW) – LeBron James has been placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, and was ruled out for the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

According to reports from TMZ Sports, James tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon. Reports say he’s currently asymptomatic.

He’s likely looking at a minimum of 10 days away from the Lakers unless he returns two negative PCR tests in a 24-hour span.

The news that he is missing time came on the same day that the NBA underscored its previous recommendation, echoed by the National Basketball Players Association, that coaches and players who are vaccinated receive a booster shot as soon as possible.

The NBA, in a memo obtained by The Associated Press, also told its teams Tuesday that it has documented 34 cases in which a fully vaccinated player, coach or staffer had a breakthrough case of COVID-19. The league has said about 97% of players are fully vaccinated, with Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving — who has not played this season because of his status — among the exceptions.

Other NBA stars have already missed multiple games this season after testing positive, including Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid — who just missed three weeks while dealing with the virus.

Tuesday’s game marks James’ 12th absence in the Lakers’ first 23 games this season. He missed 10 games because of injuries and another because of the first NBA suspension of his 19-year career.

He’s averaging 25.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists this season. If he is out for 10 days, he would miss at least four games.

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