Fans of the Atlanta Hawks and the Chicago Bulls received more than lumps of coal for Christmas this year! Instead, they woke up to the news that key players from both teams have now been placed in COVID-19 protocol as more NBA rosters become thinned out.
The Hawks’ count of players out is currently up to 10, and that list includes John Collins, Jalen Johnson, and Trae Young. The Bulls have had 14 players in protocol this month alone, and three of them were placed on the list yesterday – but one of them happens to be point guard Lonzo Ball.
Last week, Ball spoke about the benefit of staying lowkey, focusing on work and home. “I don’t really do too much; I just play and go back home, really,” he said after facing the Houston Rockets this past Monday. “I’m just thankful that I haven’t got it yet.” In fact, he, guard Alex Caruso, and center Marko Simonovic were the only Bulls players not to have been placed in protocol prior to today. But today’s info changed that for Ball, and he let Twitter know about the bad juju.
The Hawks’ forwards Collins and Johnson actually played over the weekend, but the organization now intends to sign forward Chaudee Brown on a 10-day hardship contract.
Ten-day hardship deals will only become more frequent as more teams are getting cleaned out thanks to COVID-19 protocols. Recently, 40-year-old Joe “Iso Joe” Johnson was called to suit up for the Boston Celtics and play. But some other “blasts from the past” who’ve been brought back to the league include Darren Collison, Isaiah Thomas, and Lance Stephenson.
A few other big names around the NBA were also placed in COVID-19 health and safety protocols after Christmas Day, such as:
- Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum
- Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green
- Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo
- Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry
You can expect more names to be added to the list.
Photo: Jonathan Daniel / Getty