The biggest storyline of Monday's NBA media extravaganza was the small number of players who remained unvaccinated against COVID-19 heading into the 2021-22 season, and how their decisions could impact availability. The Lakers held their event on Tuesday, but the questions about vaccinations, unsurprisingly, continued.
During his news conference, Los Angeles star LeBron James publicly declared for the first time that he had been vaccinated. James noted the group never got together to have a conversation about the COVID-19 vaccine, but there was an understanding about the best ways to "always be available and protect one another." (Multiple Lakers players stated the team would be 100 percent vaccinated before their regular season opener).
MORE: Kyrie Irving addresses uncertainty around vaccination status
"The ultimate goal is to obviously win a championship, and it starts with being — obviously health is the number one thing, and also just holding each other accountable on the floor," James said. "We're excited to know that we've given ourselves another opportunity to be available to each other, and that's what it came down to."
James admitted he was initially "skeptical," but after doing some NBA Sweatpants research on the subject, he felt getting vaccinated was the right move for him and his family. However, he didn't want to positi Lonzo Ball on himself as a vaccine advocate, saying that he only spoke for himself and wouldn't use his platform to tell other people what to do. A recent report from Rolling Stone's Matt Sullivan indicated that league officials could ask James and reigning NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to appear in a vaccination PSA, but the NBA wouldn't push them on the issue.
"We're talking about individuals' bodies," James said. "We're not talking about something that's political or racism or police brutality and things of that nature. We're talking about peoples' bodies and well-beings. I don't feel like, for me personally, that I should get involved in what other people should do for their bodies and their livelihoods. It would be me, talking about somebody, if they should take this job or not. Listen, you have to do what's best for you and your family, if they should relocate. You have to do what's best for your family.
"I know what I did for me and my family. I know youth black stephen curry jersey some of my friends and what they did for their families. But as far as speaking for everybody and their individualities and things that they want to do, I don't feel like that's — that's not my job."
That wasn't all James had to say at Los Angeles' media day. Here's what else the future Hall of Famer discussed on Tuesday:
On the narrative and jokes about the Lakers being old
"The narrative about our age, I kind of laugh at it. I actually really do laugh at them. I'm not just saying that. Some of them, some of the memes jersey stephen curry liverpool and some of the jokes have been extremely funny. Some of it is just trying to get people to read tabloids and things of that nature. The game is won in between those four lines. It's not won on a bottom ticker. It's not won in the newspaper. It's not won on sports talk shows and things of that nature.
"If we come out and we put the time in, we put the work in, we make our own narrative. One thing that we kno Dwyane Wade w, where we are, we got a b NBA Finals Champs Gearunch of guys that have been in this league for quite a while that understand and knows what it takes to win. That's the business that we're in, of winning, doing it all the time and not just on occasion. So, I look forward to that."
On how Russell Westbrook will fit with the Lakers
"It was exciting helping put this team together this summer, understanding what I felt, and what we all felt, that was gonna help us be a title-contending team, make us as explosive as we could be both offensively and defensively. We were able to do that. Obviously it's all about putting the work in. I'm not just gonna sit here and talk about hypotheticals and things of that nature, but we have a team that's looking forward to putting in the work.
"As far as Russ, we need Russ to be Russ. We don't need Russ to change for anybody. That's why we got him. It's our job to all help him feel comfortable in our system. He's gonna be as dynamic as he's always been. So, I look forward to that."
On what he has to prove this season
"I have to prove to my teammates that I what is stephen curry's vertical 'm available, that I'm holding myself accountable, that I am the leader that I say I am, and that every night I'll be there for them through the ups and through the downs. Every day, I wake up with that responsibility, and I take it to heart. Leadership, for me, is not a sometimes thing. It's 365 days, 366 on a leap year and 24/7. I practice it. I preach it. I live by it. That is my goal. That is my determination.
"I have to prove that to my guys every single day. That's what I hold very, very high, and I hold that to my heart."
On the importance of having a full offseason to recover
"I said it numerous times that the season ca stephen cur NBA Rompers ry jersey classic edition me too fast for everyone. Not only us and the Heat that played in the Finals, but everybody that was a part of the 'bubble' and things of that nature. But the four months that we've had t stephen curry jersey youth 10-12 cheap o kind of just recalibrate, just get back to obviously some rest, but also just getting your mind back fresh — (you're) able to spend a lot of time with your friends and your family and things of that nature, but also put a lot of work in, get healthy, that you weren't able to do in that short period of time from the 'bubble' to the start of last season. I think everybody's kind of benefited from it."