You don’t have to love LeBron James, like basketball, or even just tolerate tequila in order to enjoy one of those delightfully American “Don’t tread on me” moments.
On Saturday we learned that NBA superstar LeBron “nearly missed a crucial game” after reportedly violating “the league’s health and safety” rules for the Wuhan Virus.
Spoiler: LeBron didn’t nearly miss anything, as you’re about to see below this brief reminder.
For those who have forgotten, the Wuhan Flu is a highly contagious respiratory virus that originated from Wuhan, a city in Communist-ruled mainland China. There is even serious discussion over whether the Wuhan Virus might have originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where they were conducting experiments into making similar virii more contagious.
LeBron is a bit like the guy from the old electric razor commercials: He likes one particular tequila so much he bought the company — or at least a piece of it.
Last year, King James invested an undisclosed sum in tequila startup Lobos, explaining that “I knew the first time I tasted Lobos 1707 Tequila that it was special.”
It must be good stuff because the cheapest LeBron-branded bottle of Lobos 1707 we could find goes for $80. The top-shelf “Extra Anejo” varietal (heh) will set you back $200 while making LeBron slightly richer.
As you can probably guess, a tequila distiller with that kind of cachet (not to mention star power) throws some pretty fine parties — the kind LeBron wasn’t about to miss, no matter what the NBA might have to say about it.
And there’s the rub:
James reportedly attended a promotional event for a tequila in which he has invested. The event — which was also attended by Drake and Michael B. Jordan — took place before the Lakers played the Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament.
Attendees had to provide either proof of their COVID-19 vaccination or supply a recent negative test. James has not disclosed whether he’s received the COVID-19 vaccine.
So what did the NBA do about such an egregious violation of league policy?
They very nearly wagged their finger in something approaching disapproval, with a spokesman telling ESPN last week, “It’s a violation of the agreed upon protocols, and, as we have in other comparable instances around the league, it has been addressed with the team.”
In other words, the league foisted the decision off to the Lakers, who in turn sicced LeBron on the Golden State Warriors, against whom he scored 22 points including a game-winning three.
LeBron’s punishment for breaking the league’s Wuhan Flu restrictions was to make him the star of yet another winning game.
Going forward, the Lakers begin their playoff series against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, and LeBron will be taking part.
Either: The NBA’s restrictions are for everyone’s good because the Wuhan Flu is such a deadly killer — and now they’ve gone and put Lakers, Warriors, and Suns fans all at risk.
Or: The rules are just for show and don’t apply to players like LeBron who bring in the big bucks.
Bonus Paranoid Third Option: The Wuhan Flu is still a serious threat, and the NBA is just following Beijing’s orders to maximize that threat.
Well, which is it, NBA?
While we eagerly await the NBA’s next non-response… LeBron, would you pass the tequila, please? Get the stuff off the top shelf, if you don’t mind.
Now for the public service portion of today’s VIP column.
Mrs. VodkaPundit and I are both big tequila fans.
Sometimes we enjoy a nice sipping tequila, but mostly we enjoy it in the form of a margarita. Since we spend at least one night each week eating Mexican and drinking margaritas, I spent years honing my margarita recipe down to essential perfection.
I don’t want to reveal any identities — I firmly believe in changing names to protect the guilty — but a mutual friend of Stephen Kruiser and me once asked him for my marg recipe. She… er, they… enjoys them so much that in her mind they’re now “Stevaritas.”
Here’s the recipe:
- 4 parts decent-quality silver tequila
- 1 part Cointreau or Triple Sec (but never Gran Marnier — it takes over)
- 1 part fresh-squeezed lime juice (strained)
Shake gently over ice, strain into rocks glasses filled with fresh ice.
Whether to salt the rim is up to you. My doctor says “No” but sometimes I say “Oh, God, yes.”
The recipe is measured in parts because sometimes you just need to make a giant pitcher of margs. When making cocktails for two, the way I usually do, just replace “parts” with ounces. Please note, however, that you’re making your margs with two ounces of tequila apiece, rather than the usual 1.5 ounces.
Plan your drinking accordingly, and don’t forget to invite LeBron.