Breaking News! Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James violated protocol by att...

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James violated the NBA’s health and safety protocols by attending an event on Monday, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.


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Per McMenamin, via a league spokesperson:


James was one of several high-profile guests present at a promotional event for Lobos 1707, a tequila brand he backs, earlier this week before the Lakers’ play-in game against the Golden State Warriors.

The tequila was poured at a brief outdoor photo shoot, and invitees, including recording artist Drake and actor Michael B. Jordan, had to produce proof of vaccination or a recent negative test result in order to attend.

The Lakers’ forward was not wearing a mask in images from the party.

McMenamin’s report comes hours after LeBron gave another cryptic response when asked about the COVID-19 vaccine following the Lakers’ post-practice availability on Friday afternoon.

James — who opted not to reveal his stance on the vaccine during All-Star weekend in March — was specifically asked if the possibility of missing time due to health and safety protocols influenced his feelings towards the vaccine.

Here was the full exchange between James and Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register:

Goon: I know you’ve talked about how your availability for this team in the postseason is a huge factor for the team’s success. I was wondering if that value affected the way you thought about the COVID-19 vaccine and being available, not being in protocols?

LeBron: Nah. Nah. Anything I do off the floor is predicated to my family for the majority — 99.9% of that. So, it’s about the health and safety of my family, and that’s what it came down to. Me being available to my teammates on the floor is me taking care of my body, me doing everything I can to make sure I’m available both mentally, physically, and spiritually, as well. But anything of that nature, that’s all family talk.

Goon: And do you mind me asking if you’re confirming that you did get the vaccine?

LeBron: Uh, it’s not, it’s not a big deal (chuckles).

It’s unclear if the breach of protocols will affect James’ status for Game 1 of the Lakers’ first-round series against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.

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