LOS ANGELES – LeBron James did not wear a face mask Saturday night while sitting courtside at Staples Center and watching his son Bronny play in a high school basketball tournament.
The Los Angeles County COVID-19 rules include a mandate for residents to wear masks in indoor public spaces, regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated.
On Tuesday, James missed a game with the Los Angeles Lakers after he was placed in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. He was back in the lineup with the Lakers Friday night.
“Unfortunately, you get a false positive and then you get put right into isolation,’’ James said Friday night after scoring 23 points in a 119-115 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
James partnered with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as host of the eight-team tournament Saturday at the Staples Center and the event drew NBA stars Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony. Paul and Anthony also were seen without face masks.
Patrons inside Staples Center are allowed to remove their masks when they are eating or drinking. Late in the second quarter, James could be seen sipping water from a bottle and in the third quarter he could be seen eating what looked to be popcorn.
In the final game of the night, Bronny James scored a game-high 19 points. A junior guard, he led Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth, California, to a 71-53 victory over St. Vincent–St. Mary High School, LeBron James’ alma mater in Akron, Ohio.
Bronny and his teammates didn’t seem to care about wearing masks correctly. He was on court with the mask tucked under his chin. Even LeBron was puzzled by the way the players wore their masks, tweeting earlier in the week, “I’m sorry but I’m at my boys game and the mask underneath the chin makes ZERO sense to me!!”
ESPN televised the final game Saturday night.