LeBron James says he was left "confused, frustrated and angry" at the NBA's handling of his false positive test that forced him to miss his side's 117-92 win over the Sacramento Kings.
James returned in Friday's 119-115 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers having cleared the league's COVID-19 protocols after additional testing confirmed he was not a positive case.
The four-time MVP and NBA champion, however, was left frustrated by the process that cost him a game and caused him "big-time inconvenience", having recorded a positive test prior to Tuesday's game in Sacramento.
"Pretty confused, frustrated, angry with not being able to do anything," James said at the post-game news conference.
James, 36, explained his anger was that he had initially tested negative, before a positive test, which led to immediate isolation rather than a further test to confirm his status.
"Usually when you have a positive test, they will test you right away to make sure," James said. "There was not a follow-up test after my positive test. It was straight into isolation and you've been put into protocol. That was the part that angered me.
"I had to figure out a way to get back from Sacramento by myself, no security, no one. I had to put my kids in isolation for the time being. The people in my house into isolation. It was a big- time inconvenience. That was the anger part."
James added that he always knew he was not COVID-19 positive, having no symptoms, further fuelling his frustration at the process.
"I knew I was going to get cleared," he said. "I never felt sick at all. I know you can be asymptomatic but if what I had was a positive COVID test, then what are we doing? What are we talking about?
"I thought it was handled very poorly. Being able to get cleared was a breath of fresh air for me, my family and friends."
James has not been able to play four straight games this season due to a range of issues including ankle and abdominal injuries along with a one-game suspension and his false-positive test.
The Lakers forward admitted the season had been "very frustrating" and "very challenging" as he struggled to find a rhythm.
James, who returned with 23 points, 11 rebounds and six assists against the Clippers, has played 11 games this season, averaging 25.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists.
The Lakers are 12-12 following Friday's loss.