As the NBA finalizes plans to resume its season on July 30, it was revealed today that 16 out of 302 players returning have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
While the league didn’t mention any names, according to ESPN, Sacramento Kings teammates Jabari Parker and Alex Len and the Pacers’ Malcolm Brogdon have publicly revealed their positive tests. Brogdon announced his via an official statement released by the Pacers.
Statement from Malcolm Brogdon
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) June 24, 2020
Parker seemed fine some weeks ago when he was interviewed to see how he was coping with the COVID-19 crisis.
— The Big Lead (@thebiglead) March 23, 2020
The players are part of the 22 team contingent expected to be housed in ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex when the season resumes on July 30th. A mandatory training camp starts on July 1 and is expected to run from July 9 – 29.
Last week players were briefed on a security plan at the complex, also referred to as the bubble that will exist for players expected to play the remainder of the regular season with playoffs in August. The NBA Finals will begin no later than October, ESPN reports.
The security plan is to keep fans out of the complex rather than lock the players inside it. However, player’s movements are restricted and off-campus activities will have to be prearranged and scheduled with accompanying security.
State, local, and federal law enforcement as well as private and team security will be deployed to keep the complex secure. Homeland Security, along with Walt Disney World Security and the NBA’s Global Security Operations Center will monitor any social media threats against players and the complex will be restricted to essential personnel with multiple checkpoints.
Kyrie Irving reportedly led a contingent of NBA players who were reluctant to return to play not just because of the coronavirus but because of the optics of returning to play in the wake of George Floyd‘s death. Several players including Brogdon, Boston’s Jaylen Brown, and Turkish player Enes Kanter attended protests.
But ultimately, players signed off on the restart with a 113-page manual on COVID-19 protocols and play without spectators.
The 16 players tested positive will have to follow the NBA’s isolation rules before they can practice or play. However, Florida is experiencing a record uptick in COVID-19 cases after the state’s governor earlier praised the success of ‘ignoring’ the virus.
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