Before the NBA season began last month, commissioner Adam Silver was asked on a conference call with reporters what it would take for the league to shut itself down again, as in the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic in March. Was caused by
“I think we’re ready for isolated cases,” Rajat said. “In fact, based on what we’ve seen in Presen, seeing other leagues operating outside the bubble, unfortunately it’s somewhat unavoidable. But we’re all set for contingencies.”
Less than three weeks later, the NBA’s preparations are being tested.
The Philadelphia 76ers went to the Denver Nuggets with only seven healthy players in view of Seth Curry’s positive test Saturday night. – As part of the league’s health and safety protocols are being organized for contact tracing.
Philadelphia’s available players kept things close to half. Ultimately, however, relying on crooks for heavy minutes – Tyrese Max, Isaiah Joe and Dakota Matthias all played well over 40 – proved too much to overcome. The issue now for the Sixers is how many times they have to play this way.
“We’re looking at our stat sheet, and we have [three guys] At 40-plus [minutes], And it could not be avoided, “Sixers coach Doctor River said.” Now we play again in two days, and then we play again. So I worry about it. Great care must be taken in how we navigate over the next week.
Philadelphia is closed since Sunday, then visits the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, followed by home-to-home with the Miami Heat on Tuesday and Thursday. While the NBA has specified a specific return-to-play path for players who test positive, as they apply to players who are identified as close contacts, they are less clear, Players miss different lengths from close contact. Of time.
The Houston Rockets postponed their season opener, as most of their team was unavailable between a combination of positive tests and contact tracing. Although he played his next game with several players, he completed the quarantine process of the league. No other games have been postponed, even if it means Philadelphia playing with a skeleton roster. And the Sixers are not the only team facing a growing shortage of bodies.
The Boston Celtics have seven players in protocol on Saturday night, ahead of their home game against the Heat on Sunday. The Washington Wizards have played three games in the past week – against the Brooklyn Nets, the 76ers and the Celtics – against teams that have multiple players due to the league’s protocol.
Wizard coach Scott Brooks said before Friday night’s game against Boston, “We do everything. The league gives us; all memos and protocols. We do our best.” “We will continue to do so. Everyone has been negative, and that’s good.”
After undergoing a warm-up, Washington star guard Bradley Beal was dropped from Saturday’s lineup against the incoming Heat as he was considered close contact with Jason Tatum on Friday night. The two friends, sharing a trainer, protected each other for important parts of the game and later negotiated in court.
Beall being drawn minutes before the game is not the only close call for the NBA in recent times. Curry sat on the Philadelphia bench for the first quarter of Thursday’s loss in Brooklyn, before he officially tested positive and left the arena. Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valencius played in the first half and then was dropped from his game against the Nets on Friday night due to protocol, though Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said that Velniusunus had not tested positive.
“The numbers are increasing,” Heat coach Eric Spoelstra said Saturday night. “This is the reality. We are committed to moving forward with our industry, and we are doing it with all the best science and protocol to follow.
“But ultimately, we are not in control.”
In these first three weeks of the season, the league is learning the hard way. A team official said, half-jokingly, before the season, if it was going on a road trip and would leave players in the city one after the other. So far, two teams – the Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks – have had to leave players behind; And in another example, La Clippers employees had to return home from Salt Lake City. The Toronto Raptors, who are playing in Tampa, Florida this season, exactly reversed when fans were in attendance at games this week due to spikes in the virus.
These are all things that, as Silver did, both Major League Baseball and the NFL had to deal with in an attempt to kick off their season and fall during the summer, respectively. The NBA, however, is trying to pull it off with fewer players – and with COVID-19 making it worse than ever in the jungles in the land, more than 4,000 people are dying of the virus on Thursday alone .
“I think it’s something we’re going to see all year,” Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams said Saturday, when asked about the Philadelphia situation.
“I’m sure the league is ready to stop at some point, if it gets too bad.”
During that presidential news conference, Silver was specifically asked what she would do to stop the season, as she did in March.
“There’s no solid number on it,” Silver said. “I think I think if we got a situation where our protocols were not working, which means that not only did we have some cases of COVID, but that we were either spreading between teams Or possibly spreading to another team, which would motivate us. To postpone the season.
“The decision tree that we will look at in terms of suspending the season will be a complete health and safety. If at any point we no longer believe that it is responsible for playing, we will stop the season.”
The NBA saw how successful its experimentation with the bubbles was over the summer. But Silver refused to create such a bubble for the entire season – or even a large part of one – because of the mental and emotional toll it took on those in Orlando, Florida. Instead, the NBA is forced to move forward and play the season in domestic markets to make it possible for those in the league to live with their families and in the midst of an epidemic in general.
While Silver has clarified that health and safety is at the forefront of the league’s decision-making process, he acknowledges the economic realities of the situation, stating that “tens of thousands” of jobs depend on the league continuing to operate.
However, it is not too late to see how difficult it will be for the NBA to walk that tight path.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, “I think the reality is that we know it is on a larger scale at the moment.” “And we’re doing everything, as I’ve said before, to stop it, and it’s still going to find its way into the league, through travel teams; so we’re all assuming some level of risk .
“And I think we accept that and at the same time, we believe the number 1 in charge is health and safety as a priority, and if it gets too much, it will be someone else’s decision that This is the expert. “