LeBron James was sidelined by the NBA’s Covid-19 health and safety protocols and, as a result, missed Tuesday’s game against the Sacramento Kings, a team spokesperson confirmed to CNN.
It is unclear if James had tested positive for Covid-19 or whether he had come into close contact with someone who had.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said the team arranged for transportation to get James back to Los Angeles safely.
“Obviously, it’s a huge loss,” Vogel said Tuesday ahead of the game in Sacramento. “It’s disappointing. We just want the best for him right now.”
In September, James said he received the vaccine despite being skeptical at first.
“Everyone has their own choice to do what they feel is right for themselves and their family and things of that nature,” James told reporters in late September.
“I know that I was very skeptical about it all. But after doing my research and things of that nature, I felt like it was best suited for not only me but my family and my friends. That’s why I decided to do it.”
It’s unclear how long James will remain on the sidelines. The Lakers, though, did overcome his absence to rout the Kings 117-92.
James has only competed in half of his team’s 22 games this season after being sidelined with an abdominal injury and serving a one-game suspension.
The superstar was also fined $15,000 by the league after he made “an obscene gesture on the playing court” in Thursday’s overtime victory over the Indiana Pacers.
James isn’t the only player to have been impacted by the NBA protocols. Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid returned to the court on Saturday night after being forced to miss nine games due to a positive Covid-19 result.