There was a bit of cruel irony that, on the same day Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN revealed some of the details of the NBA’s involvement in a study that led the league to recommend COVID-19 booster shots, the Lakers announced that LeBron James would be entering health and safety protocols.
Ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Kings, LeBron James entered the health and safety protocols, a move that will likely leave him sidelined for 10 days. After the game, Anthony Davis more or less confirmed that James tested positive for COVID-19, the first Laker this season to do so.
With the topic certainly fresh on everyone’s mind before the game on Tuesday, head coach Frank Vogel was asked about the team’s approach to the booster shot.
“We met early in the season right around the day of that recommendation with Rob Pelinka, and myself, and our medical team,” Vogel said. “Just to encourage and recommend the booster shot and the values that come with it.”
Prior to the season, general manager Rob Pelinka confirmed that the team was 100% vaccinated, including the aforementioned James. Last season, the Lakers had plenty of firsthand experience with the virus and health and safety protocols. Dennis Schröder had multiple stints in health and safety protocols, Alex Caruso missed a handful of games due to health and safety protocols and Marc Gasol missed time after having the virus as well.
In short, it’s a team and a franchise with plenty of firsthand experience with COVID-19. And all of that isn’t even to mention the NBA’s recommendation on the matter, also. More than any sort of competitive edge it might bring in having players available this year, getting the booster shot is a matter of safety on a human level.