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Did LeBron James’ Lakers Cause Mavs COVID Outbreak?

“Some who are into betting or guessing, some would say that’s where it came from,” Kidd says.

DALLAS - Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd is not directly blaming the Los Angeles Lakers for the team’s recent problems with COVID - which now include two players and two coaches - but he’s willing to entertain the possibility.

“Some who are into betting or guessing, some would say that’s where it came from,” Kidd said.

The Mavs’ problems in this regard contributed to their short-handedness in Sunday’s loss at Minnesota. Of course, Luka Doncic (ankle) missing the game and Kristaps Porzingis leaving the game don’t help, either.

The surge in players and staff entering the NBA COVID health and safety protocols is led by Reggie Bullock as well as Josh Green, and now assistant coaches Darrell Armstrong and Jared Dudley going into the COVID list as well as the 14-15 Mavs prep for a Tuesday visit from the same T’wolves.

So is all of this the fault of the LeBron James-led Lakers? That’s not Kidd’s point, exactly ...

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“We talked about it before the Laker game, with the Lakers having COVID issues, how concerned we were, being a team that didn’t have any COVID issues up until that point, until after they left,” Kidd said. 

“I spoke too soon, and now we have COVID issues.”

The Lakers were already overwhelmed by a surge in COVID cases when they went against the Mavs on Wednesday, recording an OT win without the likes of Dwight Howard, Talen Horton-Tucker and Malik Monk.

Additionally, after the game, undrafted Austin Reaves - who made the unlikely game-winning shot - headed to the health and protocol list alongside Kendrick Nunn.

James was briefly in the protocol earlier this for what was reported to a false positive test. Lakers coach Frank Vogel has also been on the list.

The NBA’s total list is now in the range of 70 players. (See our NBA COVID Tracker here.) As Dallas’ Dorian Finley-Smith said, “Hopefully, we don’t have to shut down the league.”