The NBA and NBPA jointly announced that all 346 players in the Walt Disney World bubble who tested for the coronavirus (COVID-19) since July 13 have returned zero confirmed positive results.
“There’s always going to be a small amount of risk. I was excited to see there were zero cases in the bubble and I’m hopeful it stays that way,” Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said Tuesday.
“I’m not surprised, because what Adam (Silver) has created here is a very safe environment. With people being tested every day, you’re able to identify first time somebody has it and you’re able to keep them properly quarantined and isolated so it does’t spread. Everybody in here is doing a good job committing to the protocols.”
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.
Those tests were administered in each team’s home market prior to players reporting to Orlando, Florida, between July 7-9.
Upon arriving at Walt Disney World, players were tested again. Last week, the NBA reported that only two of 322 players yielded positive COVID-19 results.
In the event that a player on the campus returns a confirmed positive test in the future, he will be isolated until he is cleared under the rules established by the NBA and the Players Association.
There were initial concerns that the NBA’s bubble plan wouldn’t be sufficient, but to this point, those worries have been put to rest. “I said the first time I did media, if something is to happen then you approach it,” Lakers All-Star LeBron James recently said of his experience in the bubble.
“Everything has gone the way it’s supposed to since we’ve been here and it’s given me no indication why that won’t continue. If something happens or a spike happen — which we don’t believe it will — but if something happens, we’ll adjust and go from there.
“I don’t wake up in the morning and say, ‘OK, this may not work.’ I don’t function that way. I woke up thinking about my family and how I was going to impact practice and help us get better. That’s it.”
As COVID-19 cases surge in Florida, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is confident players will follow the guidelines. “I feel like everybody here wants to play,” he began.
“I don’t think everybody wants to break the rules. They just want to play, be here in the bubble. Let’s just follow the rules and get back to playing. That’s my mindset.
“I’m going to follow every rule that’s here. I just want to get back to playing basketball and compete for what we’re here.”
Lakers scrimmage games schedule
The Lakers are set to face the Dallas Mavericks in their first game-like setting since March on July 23 at 4 p.m. PT. They will then have one day off and play again on July 25 at 9 a.m. against the Orlando Magic.
L.A. finishes their preseason games on July 27 at 12 p.m. against the Washington Wizards. On July 29 at 6 p.m., the Lakers will take on the L.A. Clippers in what marks the first of eight seeding games.
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