As the NBA was working through setting its guidelines and protocols, it was reported some coaches would potentially be prevented from participating in the season restart at Walt Disney World because of health concerns.
However, the National Basketball Coaches Association worked with the league to address those concerns. The NBA backed off its stance that age could lead to a coach being ruled out from heading to Orlando, Florida, at the end of the month.
Nevertheless, coaches and staff personnel are undergoing regular testing, just as players are. There has been growing concern about the spike in the number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, especially in the area surrounding the bubble.
This has forced the NBA to double down on the precautions they are taking to prioritize the safety of players and staff. The screening process has led to Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Lionel Hollins being ruled out from joining the team, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
Sources: Lionel Hollins – 66 – was disappointed in not being able to be on the front lines, but understands this is the right decision. This was not an age-related situation.
Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka and head coach Frank Vogel both acknowledged that having to submit a 35-person traveling party list was much more difficult than expected.
Vogel said the Lakers did sacrifice on coaches in order to take sufficient medical personnel. It’s unclear if Hollins was part of the Lakers’ submitted list. The 65-year-old reportedly was intent on being with the team when they entered the Orlando bubble.
Hollins won a championship with the Portland Trail Blazers as a player back in 1977 before making the successful transition to the bench. The Lakers have a chance to bring him his first championship ring as a coach after being pegged as the favorites to emerge as champions in the unprecedented season.
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