James was reportedly one of several big-name guests at the event, which included rapper Drake and actor Michael B. Jordan, per McMenamin. Attendees were required to provide proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test.
“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,” an NBA spokesman said to ESPN.
Despite the violation, James will not be suspended, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). James’ attendance at the event did not rise to “a threat level of virus spread” and he will be available for the team’s first-round series against the Suns, which tips off on Sunday.
As McMenamin notes, James has declined to outright state whether or not he has yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Teammate Dennis Schröder recently told German outlet N-TV last month that he and James both had not been vaccinated, but later amended that statement, telling reporters, “I’m the only guy that didn’t get vaccinated. I’ll just leave it at that.”
The Lakers as a team have yet to reach the 85% threshold for fully vaccinated players and personnel, which would loosen several health and safety protocols.
“We have not reached it yet, but we’re still hopeful,” head coach Frank Vogel said recently. “And I think there’s obvious benefits from the standpoint of us being able to do more things with each other in the cities that we’re going to. Something that’s been absent leaguewide in terms of team building and team bonding for all of us. “