Lakers superstar LeBron James returned to action on Friday after clearing health and safety protocols and felt the process was “handled poorly,” Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes. James entered protocols on Tuesday, missing a game, then was cleared on Thursday after a series of negative tests.
“Usually when you have a positive test, they’ll test you right away to make sure,” James said. “There was not a follow-up test after my positive test. It was straight to isolation and you’ve been put into protocol. That’s the part that kind of angered me. I had to figure out a way to get home from Sacramento by myself. They wouldn’t allow anyone to travel with me, no security, no anything, when I traveled back from Sacramento. And then I had to put my kids in isolation for the time being, the people in my household in isolation for the time being, so it was just a big-time inconvenience.”
We have more from the Pacific Division:
- Nicolas Batum missed his seventh consecutive game on Friday and the Clippers have suffered without his defensive versatility, according to Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register. The Clippers had the league’s second-best defensive rating before losing Batum, who has remained in the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Their defensive rating has sagged dramatically since he tested positive. “He’s very valuable to what we do,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. Batum re-signed with the Clippers in August on a two-year deal.
- Suns lead assistant Kevin Young didn’t travel with the team for the showdown with Golden State because he’s in the health and safety protocols, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic reports. Young, who has missed three games after testing positive for COVID-19, became Phoenix’s associate head coach under Monty Williams after Willie Green departed to become head coach of the Pelicans.
- Warriors veteran forward Andre Iguodala participated in pregame warmups on Friday but isn’t expected to return until next week, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. If he doesn’t play against San Antonio on Saturday, he’ll have missed nine straight missed games due to right knee swelling.