LeBron James To Keep His Phone On Throughout Playoffs, NBA Star Will Forgo His ‘Zero Dark Thirty-23’ Tradition

The three-time NBA champion is taking a different approach to the postseason this year in an effort to better stay connected with his family amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as players quarantine in Orlando.

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers points at the two retired jerseys in the rafters to honor Kobe Bryant before the game against the Portland Trail Blazers
Harry How / Getty Images

The three-time NBA champion is taking a different approach to the postseason this year in an effort to better stay connected with his family amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as players quarantine in Orlando.

LeBron James will be doing away with his playoff tradition of a self-imposed social media break when the NBA season returns later this week, ESPN reported. The ritual, which is known as “Zero Dark Thirty-23,” is being set aside at least temporarily to allow James to stay in close connection with his family while being quarantined in Orlando, the league’s “bubble” city.

James, 35, has three children with his wife, Savannah, and said that he can’t afford to turn his phone off because checking in with them every day is a must. The Los Angeles Lakers forward also said he’d be checking in with his mother on a daily basis.

“Making sure everything is still going well, especially in the uncertainty of what 2020 has brought to all of us”

The Lakers are currently the top seed in the Western Conference and if they are able to make it all the way to the Finals, it could mean James isn’t able to see his loved ones for nearly four months. He was asked about being away for extended periods in the past, and could only compare this with his experience playing for the United States during the Olympics. However those obligations were only for 30 or so days, he said.

James married his longtime girlfriend in 2013, and while it will be difficult for him to be away for this long, he knows he can count on his wife to keep the household in order.

“Savannah is a beast at what she does: That’s controlling the home and being that rock for our family,” he said. “So I’m not worried about that. But you definitely, you have that miss factor when you miss your family, you miss your kids and things of that nature”

  David Livingston / Getty Images

The four-time NBA MVP also praised the late Steve Jobs and the team at Apple for creating FaceTime, which he called a “beautiful thing to have.”

He then admitted that nothing can emulate connecting in person, but phones do help people stay in touch from afar.

Taking a break from social media would not just mean disconnecting with those closest to him, but it would also put a halt to connecting with his massive platform of 69 million Instagram followers during a time of civil unrest. Of the last 27 posts he has shared, 13 of them were somehow related to social justice issues. One of these posts, which sought justice for Louisville emergency medical technician Breonna Taylor, can be viewed here.

As The Inquisitr previously reported, James recently began raising money to pay court debts for Florida felons so they can vote in the upcoming election.

Any Lakers fan concerned that James’ attention will not be on basketball can take solace in knowing he will be as locked in as possible given the current circumstances of the time.

“I won’t cheat my teammates, I won’t cheat our fans and I won’t cheat myself. I’ll be ready to go,” James said.