Just when it looked like things couldn’t get any wackier in the NBA, it has. With the season already on an indefinite hiatus because of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the NBA was back in the news Thursday when two members of the Los Angeles Lakers were said to have tested positive for the virus and Lakers star LeBron James was being sued because of a Facebook post.
Two members of the Lakers test positive for the coronavirus
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, two members of the Los Angeles Lakers have tested positive for the coronavirus and the team may test the remaining members of the team if they weren’t already tested Wednesday morning.
The Lakers’ diagnosis comes on the heels of three members of the Philadelphia 76ers also testing positive for the virus, according to Charania.
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart also announced on Twitter that he had tested positive and said he had no symptoms and is feeling great. He asked for people to self distance, saying we must beat it together by staying apart for a short while.
LeBron James sued for posting a Facebook photo of himself
It was reported Thursday that LeBron James was being sued for $150,000 for posting a photo of himself on Facebook.
James and his companies, Uninterrupted Digital Ventures and LRMR Ventures, were being sued by the photographer, Steven Mitchell. James posted the picture on his personal FaceBook page and Mitchell is seeking $150,000 for copyright infringement.
“This is an action for copyright infringement under Section 501 of the Copyright Act,” Mitchell says in paperwork filed. “This action arises out of Defendant’s unauthorized reproduction and public display of a copyrighted photograph of NBA basketball player Lebron James during a basketball game against the Miami Heat, owned and registered by Mitchell, a professional photographer.”
The state of the NBA
Despite the number of NBA players testing positive for the coronavirus increasing each day, Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, was still optimistic the season could resume at some point.
Roberts has been told the number of players and executives within the NBA could reach 40-50 percent of the league’s population.
“A whole lot of us are going to test positive,” she said. “Even if we aren’t positive, we got the virus. I don’t intend to disclose identities because there’s a stigma attached to that. But I certainly know there will be more players, more league staff and my own staff [that will be tested positive]. I was hearing the numbers that 40 to 50 percent of our population will be positive for the virus, whether or not we test for it.”
Commissioner Adam Silver was also hopeful the league would be able to get back into action this summer, saying people needed ‘a diversion’ from what’s going on in the real world. Silver said it was possible the league, later down the road, could get some NBA players together and play a game, possibly for charity.
Silver said it’s still way too early to determine how the league will go about playing out the rest of the season.