The NBA and NBPA announced two positive cases out of the 322 players that were tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) since teams began arriving in the bubble environment at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, on July 7.
While those players have since left the campus to quarantine in isolation, the 19 players that tested positive since July 1 will not be allowed to leave their home markets until clearing CDC and NBA guidelines for the bubble.
Although the league put an emphasis on establishing viable safety protocols for the players, commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged the impact that positive cases inside the bubble can have on the operation. This essentially spurred the NBA to double down on the precautionary steps they had taken, which already earned them praise from the medical community for its comprehensive outline.
The NBA previously announced that 16 out of 302 players yielded positive results during the first-round of screening on June 23. The second round saw nine more players of the 344 tested between June 24-29 added to that list.
The recent spike in the number of positive cases throughout the country amplified the concerns players had about staying in a hotbed like Florida for potentially up to the next three months. Fortunately, the downward trend within the bubble hellos vindicate their hopes of serving as an oasis from the virus.
This is especially good news for the Los Angeles Lakers, who were among the last teams to arrive on the final day. They have been dealt a few blows to their roster already and are hoping to avoid any further setbacks.
Danny Green on risks involved
The loss of Avery Bradley and the injury to Rajon Rondo means Danny Green will likely serve as a stabilizing factor for the backcourt in the season restart. Although he is not worried about testing positive for the virus, he does have concerns about the effect it could have on those around him.
“Honestly, I think a good majority of us have had it already. I think a lot of us have survived it and have the antibodies to fight it,” Green noted. “I think we have pretty good health to where we can get through it, so I’m not that concerned or worried about us. I think the concern is the people around us: friends and family, our kids, obviously people on our staff that are older and have health issues.
“For us, I’m not as concerned. But you never know, every case is different.”
Frank Vogel aware there is no full-proof plan
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel lost a key member of his coaching staff in Lionel Hollins after he was red-flagged due to health concerns. He understands full well that there was always going to be a risk factor involved with finishing out the season.
“I think Adam said it best. There’s no 100% risk-free environment in the world. We’re trying to come as close as we can to that. I believe we have achieved it,” Vogel said.
“Compared to most of the world we’re in an extremely safe environment, but that doesn’t mean there’s not going to be a positive test pop up here and there. In particular during the first week or two because of the incubation period. We were all outside the bubble as little as three or four days ago.”
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