As expected, some NBA players are testing positive for COVID-19.
In a joint statement, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association confirmed that 16 players tested positive for COVID-19 out of the 302 tests conducted on Tuesday (Jun.23). The testing is part of the league’s preparations to restart the 2019-20 NBA season that came to an abrupt end on March 11 because of the coronavirus global pandemic.
In the statement, both the NBA and NBPA revealed what would happen with players with positive tests stating:
“Any player who tested positive will remain in self-isolation until he satisfies public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and has been cleared by a physician.”
The names of all 16 players have not been revealed. But we do know Denver Nuggets all-star big man Nikola Jokic, Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon and Sacramento Kings teammates, Jabari Parker and Alex Len are among those who tested positive for COVID-19.
The league is still gearing up to hit the restart button in Orlando on July 30, despite the alarming spike of COVID-19 cases in the state of Florida. Some players expressed their reservations for entering the “bubble,” which would be necessary to help the NBA restart. Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley and Portland Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza have already opted-out. Speaking with ESPN, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated he understood that the “bubble” at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex located in Disney World would be every player’s cup of tea.
“It will entail enormous sacrifice on behalf of those players and for everyone involved — the coaches, the referees. Listen, it’s not an ideal situation. We’re trying to find a way to our normal in the middle of a pandemic and a recession, or worse, with 40 million unemployed and now with enormous social unrest in the country. As we work through these issues, I understand that for some players, this is not for them.”
Regardless, the plans have been laid out, and we will be looking at an eight-game finish to the regular season followed by a potential play-in situation. Once that is out the way, the playoffs will begin with the standard postseason format in place. 22 of the league’s 30 teams are set to participate in ‘bubble city” on July 30.
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