Photo by Keith Allison
By Kyler Van Vliet
Last week, the NBA stated that 48 players have tested positive for COVID-19.
With the season coming to a start later in December, the NBA tested 546 of its players between Nov. 24 and 30 after players returned to their respective team markets. 9% of the players tested positive.
However, in the league’s preseason guidance to teams sent late last week, they made it clear that some positive test results were to be expected.
Any player with a confirmed positive test is isolated until cleared by rules established by the league and National Basketball Players Association, in accordance with CDC guidance. The league’s health and safety protocols for this season say that anyone with a positive test in this ‘pre-camp phase’, “must receive medical clearance from a team-designated and a league-designated physician prior to entering a team’s facility, participating in in-person team-organized activities, or interacting in-person with other members of their team.”
To go along with those rules, if a player has contracted COVID and later has cleared testing they must also need to successfully complete a cardiac exam before being able to return to play.
From the original round of testing it is clear that many players won’t see the court at the start of preseason, Dec. 11th.
“During this pandemic, all this stuff is going to be different this season,” Dallas All-Star Luka Doncic said Tuesday to reporters on media day. “Some players might get corona, get sick, not be able to be with the team for 10 days. So, I think that’s going to be a big part — which team is not going to have positive people. It’s going to be a lot of time together. I think that’s going to be key.”
“I’m confident that the league is going to do everything in their power to do things the right way and to protect us, protect the players and the staffs. Then, who the hell knows?” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said Tuesday, prior to the Warriors revealing that two players had positive tests. “I mean, it’s 2020. I think we just have to go into it with an open mind and do our best and see what happens.”