LeBron James has found himself under fire for viral photos showing him partying with rapper Drake and other celebrity friends prior to the Los Angeles Lakers play-in game against the Golden State Warriors.
Drake posted the photos on social media Tuesday evening with James, actor Michael B. Jordan and others appearing.
“Congrats to my brothers nothing like some Lobos to start your Monday off right,” Drake said, referencing the tequila brand James has invested in.
Drake posted a second set of photos with James, writing in the caption: “Having our way.”
Questions Emerge Over Photos of LeBron James
There are lots of questions about the photos. Perhaps they were not taken this Monday, although Drake references that in the first post. It’s obviously a promotion for James’ tequila brand, so it could just be some well-curated content.
After all, James is well-known for taking care of his body and staying out drinking some tequila probably isn’t the best regiment prior to the postseason, especially considering he’s been dealing with a nagging ankle injury. The Lakers play the Warriors in the one-game play-in on Wednesday with the No. 7 seed on the line.
“Lebron out here partying instead of getting ready for Curry,” one of the comments read.
However, the 36-year-old, four-time NBA champ doesn’t need to be told how to handle himself.
The other issue that was brought up is the NBA’s very strict COVID-19 health and safety protocol, which has sidelined multiple key players this season, including Lakers guard Dennis Schroder — twice.
Pacers guard Caris LeVert was the latest to miss games because of the rules in place, missing his team’s play-in win against the Hornets on Tuesday night. He is out for the next 10 to 14 days.
“Hey NBA. Why isn’t LeBron in COVID protocol he’s out partying with Drake. If it was anyone else they’d be in protocols,” one commenter wrote.
“The NBA better test LeBron for COVID. Keep the same energy for [Caris LeVert] and no special treatment,” another said.
NBA Released New Guidelines for Vaccinated Players
The league recently released new guidelines for vaccinated players and staff, per ESPN:
Fully vaccinated individuals will no longer have to quarantine following exposure to COVID-19; can have friends, family and others visit at home and on the road without having them test or register with the team; and can dine outdoors at restaurants, among other eased restrictions.
Fully vaccinated teams will no longer have to wear masks at the practice facility; have more flexibility to leave the team hotel on the road; and can dine indoors or outdoors at restaurants, among other eased restrictions.
James previously said he would keep it private whether he was getting vaccinated or not.
“That’s a conversation that, you know, my family and I will have,” James said. “And pretty much probably keep that to a private thing. Obviously I’ve seen Adam (Silver) had his comments about the vaccination and what not. But, you know, things like that, when you decide to do something, that’s a conversation between you and your family and not for everybody.”
That being said, new comments from Schroder discussing his COVID-related absence seemed to imply that James is vaccinated.
“I’m the only guy who didn’t get vaccinated, so I’m gonna just leave it at that,” Schroder told reporters.
Aside from any potentially serious fallout from the photos, James should have considered the “Drake curse” before posing for the shots. Maybe the rapped killed that narrative when his hometown Raptors won the Larry O’Brien trophy in 2019, but supporters of the Lakers would rather James doesn’t test fate with the once bad-luck charm of the sports world.