Unlike the finish of last season when they were able to remain inside a bubble, the NBA has been absolutely ravaged by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
More than 20 games have been suspended, plus a number of NBA players including stars such as Kevin Durant, Karl-Anthony Town and Jayson Tatum have quarantined and missed time due to either positive tests or contact tracing initiated under the league’s health and safety protocols.
Despite the NBA’s efforts, things have not gone well in terms of containing exposure to the virus. Of cours, this doesn’t only fall on the players, coaches and staff of the league as everyone still has family and friends who have their own lives and it is impossible for the league to monitor that.
But in an effort to try and quell the situation, the league recently passed revised protocols that they hoped would improve things.
Now the NBA and NBPA has agreed to extend those tightened protocols along with making revisions to account for family members and outdoor activity, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Additional NBA health/safety policies:
– Players, coaches, staffers now able to engage in physical activity outdoors once per day for up to 1 hour; no crowded settings; return to hotel by 6 pm
– Individuals who regularly visit home of Tier 1-2 must undergo testing twice a week. https://t.co/nBwh5qTJkJ
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 28, 2021
Obviously there have been some positive tests throughout the NBA, but what has often happened is others forced into quarantine due to contact tracing. This was the case with the Los Angeles Lakers’ Alex Caruso who missed time due to a friend visiting him and then testing positive days later.
The league has also tightened up player interaction after the game, not allowing opponents to speak for an extended period or embrace on the court once the final buzzer sounds. While some of these things may seem somewhat strict, it is all part of an effort to prevent spread and lessen the number of games missed by players, and suspended by the league overall.
NBA, NBPA discussing possibility of holding 2021 All-Star Game in March
Health and safety protocols aren’t the only things being discussed by the league and the players association as there has also been talks of potentially holding the 2021 NBA All-Star Game after all.
It had been assumed that there would be no All-Star Game in Indianapolis, but the two sides are reportedly discussing the possibility of having something that would benefit Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as COVID-19 relief.
NBPA president Chris Paul is reportedly a proponent of the idea and the city of Atlanta has emerged as a possible host of the event.
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