Several assistants contacted by Bleacher Report specifically mentioned the league’s stringent COVID-19 testing protocols—a necessary procedure—as another negative factor on players’ rest and recovery time. “Some nights we fly in at three in the morning and have to get up for a test at 8 a.m.,” another assistant coach said.
Rob Schaefer: No update on Zach LaVine’s timetable, per Billy Donovan. LaVine has been in COVID protocol since April 15. Donovan: “One thing I can tell you (from talking to LaVine) is he’s very bored.”
Keith Smith: Brad Stevens says Even Fournier will have his final testing to be cleared in the next couple of days. Stevens said Fournier will probably be doubtful Thursday and the team will determine his availability after that. Team is hopeful Robert Williams will return Thursday.
Marc Stein: The Thunder announced March 2 they will not admit fans this season. The Blazers, I'm told, are optimistic they will get clearance for reduced crowds before regular season's end. The Bulls are still trying "to determine if there is a timeline where fans can return to home games.
KC Johnson: Bulls injury report lists LaVine out for health and safety protocols and Satoransky probable with back sprain. No other players listed. LaVine is expected to be out at least 10-14 days, per sources.
Chicago Bulls All-Star guard Zach LaVine is expected to miss several games after entering into the NBA's health and safety protocol, sources told ESPN. The Bulls called off practice Thursday because of health and safety protocol concerns, the team said.
Chicago's playoff hopes have been dampened lately, as the Bulls have dropped four straight games to fall to 22-32. The Bulls are currently 10th in the Eastern Conference, holding the final spot in the play-in tournament. LaVine is averaging a career-high 27.5 points per game this season.
Shams Charania: Zero NBA players have tested positive for coronavirus out of 488 tested since April 7, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum said Tuesday night that he is still dealing with the after-effects of contracting for COVID-19 three months ago and has been using an inhaler before games as a means to combat them. "Close," he said, after scoring 32 points, along with nine rebounds and five assists, in a 116-115 Boston victory in Portland, when asked whether he's back to 100 percent. "Very close.
"It's a process. It takes a long time. I take an inhaler before the game since I've tested positive. This has kind of helped with that and opened up my lungs, and, you know, I never took an inhaler before. So that's something different. "I for sure feel better now than I did a month ago." He added that he isn't sure how long he's going to have to use the inhaler, saying it will be until he feels good enough to play without it. "There's no exact timetable," Tatum said. "[It's] just when I feel comfortable enough and I think I don't need it."
Josh Lewenberg: Nurse on the Raps players that returned from the H&S protocols last month: "Those guys all to a person, to a man were saying they didn't feel quite right. They felt like they could play but they just didn't feel quite right out there after they came back, and I think that showed"
Dave McMenamin: Alfonzo McKinnie, coming off one of his strongest games as a Laker, is out tonight vs. NYK because of the league’s health and safety protocols, the team announced. Dennis Schroder is listed as probable with a pelvis contusion.
Jason Anderson: The Kings will admit 1,600 preselected frontline workers to Thursday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first step toward welcoming fans back to Golden 1 Center with incremental increases in paid spectators in subsequent games. More to come on this.
The Washington Wizards will welcome fans back to Capital One Arena for the first time this season on Wednesday, April 21, at 7:00 p.m. when the team hosts the Golden State Warriors. Due to the very limited tickets to be made available (attendance will be limited to 2,100 fans, 10% of the venue’s capacity), priority for ticketing will be given to season ticket members, with information forthcoming on ticket availability for the general public. Fans are encouraged to visit https://www.nba.com/wizards/wizticketpresale to sign up for alerts and information regarding individual game ticket access.
The exact number is not known. Getting the vaccine is a personal choice. The organization did not make it mandatory. Not all of the players agreed to it. But a source said a “fair amount of players” received the one-time Johnson and Johnson shot. There are currently 15 guys on the roster, including Lamar Stevens and Brodric Thomas, both of whom are currently on two-way contracts. “It was a great turnout,” a source said.
Because it was Johnson and Johnson, members of the organization who received the vaccine during that rollout will not need a second dose. According to a source, Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff, 42, received his vaccine earlier, prior to knowing it would be available to the entire team on March 30. Bickerstaff had the first dose of Moderna. His second shot is scheduled for Monday, April 12 -- a team off day following a weekend back-to-back and before the Cavaliers travel to Charlotte for a one-off road game, sources say.
Evan Fournier: Just want to take a moment to thank you all for the love and support over the last few days. I can't wait to get back on the court and help my team win. ☘️
Darnell Mayberry: Before embarking on a season-long, five-game road trip, Chicago Bulls players received the COVID-19 vaccine, sources told The Athletic. theathletic.com/2504521/2021/0…
Shams Charania: Sources: One NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus out of 483 tested since March 31.
The partnership, which is in effect, is expected to be announced as soon as Wednesday morning, according to league sources. A third of the league -- including the Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs and Atlanta Hawks -- has already been using CLEAR's Health Pass program, which includes a combination of health surveys and secure linking to COVID-19 lab results and vaccination records, for their employee or fan safety protocols in-arena.
Karl-Anthony Towns: Shot 1 ✅ pic.twitter.com/LQfB6SrH0k
Brian Robb: Evan Fournier was placed back in NBA health and safety protocols today. He won't play tonight: masslive.com/celtics/2021/0…
Chris Forsberg: Jaylen Brown on Evan Fournier landing in COVID protocol: "That’s been our season. It’s unfortunate. … It’s our been our story, for the most part. Hopefully we can get him back in time and still make a run without him. Play some basketball and keep this thing going."
I wanted to ask you about this: You told my co-worker Sam Amick that you had COVID before the season began. I know some players have had different experiences with it. Jayson Tatum said a month after testing positive, he still had symptoms. What was your experience like and what would you want people to know about the virus? Bogdan Bogdanovic: It’s tough. It’s not easy. You have to take care of yourself. My family and friends are wearing masks all of the time. They’re moving around a lot. I was trying my best to be careful, too, but I had to work out. I had to do my daily stuff. I was moving around a lot of people. You can catch it anywhere. Whenever you notice something, you should not be going anywhere. Just don’t do anything. That’s what I’ve learned in my experience and from other people. I had all of the symptoms except losing my taste. Other than that, I had everything. I had a fever. I had tiredness, fatigue, back pain, loss of smell. Everyone has different experiences with it.
Bogdan Bogdanovic: Those workouts were light too. It was just body workouts and not basketball workouts. I then went to Atlanta after signing and we couldn’t use the gym for the first two days because of COVID protocols. I had to test negative three times and then on that third day, I was able to go into the gym at night. It was tough. I have finally felt over the last month that I have finally recovered and am back to feeling good. I do remember that first practice I had with the Hawks, I was dead. I was really dead. When I got hurt, all I could think about was how I might not have been ready. I believe that every injury happens for a reason. There’s something that causes an injury, whether it’s mental or body tiredness. It was tough.
Shams Charania: The Clippers are signing four-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins to a 10-day contract this week, pending clearance of health and safety protocols, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Ohm Youngmisuk: If DeMarcus Cousins produces 6 negative COVID tests, the free agent should be eligible to come out of protocol on Monday. He entered protocol last Tuesday. @Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week Cousins and Clips were discussing possibility of 10-day contract with Serge Ibaka still out.
Keith Pompey: For the first time this season, the #Sixers will have a limited amount of courtside fans at tonight’s game vs. the #Timberwolves at the #WellsFargoCenter, according to sources. #GettingBackToNormalcyFlow #NBA
Mark Followill: Rick Carlisle just announced he had an unexpected positive test for COVID. He said he's been fully vaccinated since January & is hopeful it is a false positive. He has been re-tested & is currently at the team hotel. If he is unable to be at the game, Jamahl Mosely will be coach
Clipper Darrell is still hurting about how it all went down in the bubble. The team struggled with a variety of issues, culminating with a loss to the Nuggets in the Western Conference semifinals despite leading the series 3-1. For the thousands of fans unable to see their teams in person this NBA season, a part of their recreation and leisure is missing. Clipper Darrell, as one of the most visible fans of a team in the league after having attended nearly every Clippers home game for the previous 20 years, represents that separation anxiety.
Clipper Darrell joked that he was “hoping and praying” Ballmer called him, saying that he was ready to be quarantined just to support his team. “I mean, it hurts, man,” Clipper Darrell says. “Not to be able to cheer my guys on, high-five them, and tell them, ‘We’re going to be able to do this,’ man. And get that crowd pumped up. It’s my nature. You know, I feel guilty not being able to go, man. It breaks my heart, man, not being able to get in. I see Ballmer sitting next to them, I say, ‘Ballmer, call me, man! I want to sit next to you! Man, come on! We go six feet, let’s cheer these guys!’ But, you know, hey. I never get that phone call yet!”
Dane Moore: Josh Okogie is out tonight due to "extended protocols," according to Chris Finch. Finch says the Timberwolves are hopeful Okogie can join the team this weekend on the road in Memphis and Philadelphia this weekend.
Duane Rankin: #Suns will raise fan limit from 3,000 to "5,500-plus" starting April 7 vs. Utah, team officials said Wednesday. The "plus" is in suites. Attendance been little over 3K since going from 1,500 to 3,000 when Suns played Brooklyn Feb. 16. 1st had fans this season 2-7 vs. Boston.
Jared Weiss: Celtics list Jaylen Brown as available after missing a game with a sore hip, while Romeo Langford is out of the COVID protocol and is now out due to reconditioning. Presumably will return in the next couple games.
Shams Charania: Sources: One new NBA player tested positive for coronavirus out of 481 tested since March 24.
Joe Mussatto: Aleksej Pokusevski (health and safety protocols) is out tonight against the Raptors. Ty Jerome (right ankle sprain) is questionable. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luguentz Dort, Darius Bazley and Mike Muscala remain out.
With the United States entering what the government is calling the “fourth wave” of COVID-19 infections, the slow return to normalcy is proving difficult in both the NBA and society at large. A league source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said teams have been instructed by the league office that they cannot jump the line to get members of their organizations vaccinated, and nobody will be forced to be vaccinated against their will. But at the same time, extraordinary efforts are being made to educate players and team personnel about the merits of vaccination.
One source said that one of the most difficult tasks has been dispelling myths being perpetuated by anti-vaccine advocates whose information is being re-reported by some mainstream media companies and spreading on social media and online forums. Privately, players have expressed that they are hesitant to get the vaccine due to systemic distrust in the U.S. government, in large part due to the infamous "Tuskegee Experiment," league sources told BasketballNews.com.
After flying to Boston, Fournier took a COVID test prior to the Celtics’ game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which came back positive. According to Fournier, multiple subsequent tests all came back negative, and the doctor told him his COVID levels were very low on the positive test. “I’m glad it’s over because that was not the best timing for that to happen, me just getting started,” Fournier said. “I’m glad it’s over.”
Duane Rankin: #Suns updated injury report vs. Hawks. Frank Kaminsky III (health and safety protocols) OUT Abdel Nader (knee) OUT
Enes Kanter: Wow Just found out that my uncle in Turkey which I haven’t seen in 8 years, just passed away cause of COVID. Pray for him! Please take the vaccine seriously, It saves you & your loved ones Because of @RTErdogan, I can’t even pay proper respect to my uncle Screw you @RTErdogan
Evan Fournier's debut with the Boston Celtics will have to wait, as the newly acquired guard was placed in the NBA's health and safety protocols on Saturday. "I don't really want to get into the specifics of everything, because I don't know all the answers," coach Brad Stevens said before the Celtics played the Thunder in Oklahoma City. "As far as frustration, it's been a very consistent theme for us to be missing people. But hopefully that won't be long term. We'll see how this all goes and go from there."
Such as the COVID-19 vaccines, which some NBA athletes are opposed to taking. “No sir,” Warriors wing Kent Bazemore said Wednesday in a video conference with reporters.
Bazemore considers his decision “a lifestyle thing,” as he is not keen on making allowances. “I do everything I can to strengthen my immune system, with hours upon hours of cooking, preparing my meals at home, really being conscious of what I put in my body and taking care of my health,” he said. “My family has a history of heart disease and all these different things, and I’m trying to turn that around for my lineage. So, I’m taking it upon myself to do everything I can to keep my immune system strong and live a healthy and long life.”
Marc Stein: The NBA announces that of the 485 players tested leaguewide for COVID-19 since March 17, one new player has returned a confirmed positive test. pic.twitter.com/SczCrh3694
Ava Wallace: Scott Brooks, speaking pretty generally, says there have been talks with the Wizards about getting the vaccine. "There's a lot of people that probably need it more than myself... my stance is I'm willing to take a backseat. But there are definitely discussions."
Casey Holdahl: Injury update: both @Anfernee Simons and @Nassir Little are out for tonight's game due to health and safety protocols...
Unlike the teams, your staff is flying commercial, which adds another layer of potential risk. What has it been like for your staff? And how many have been affected by the virus? Monty McClutchen: Due to flying commercial, our referees have to leave two days in advance from home now, to make sure that they're getting several PCR-negative tests before they go on the floor. We can't do a PCR test, and then fly and then go on the floor. We have had some people test positive, a very, very small number. They were not impacting games at that point; the testing did exactly what it was supposed to do. But we've had people miss games. We've had more two-person games [instead of a three-person crew] than we've ever had in a season.
Omari Sanfoka II: Dwane Casey said he caught COVID-19 around the time Christian Wood had it, and the team didn't publicize it. Didn't have any strong symptoms. He's fully vaccinated now
Nick Friedell: Looney said he had a false positive COVID test but all his following tests came back negative. He’s just happy to be available to play again.
Jusuf Nurkic: I got my vaccine 💉 today. I can't live in fear of infecting someone else and the people I love. The best protection is vaccine and the fastest way to get back to normal. #HaveYourOpinion #MakeYourMove pic.twitter.com/qpbZFUT6cR