NBA rumors: NBA updates protocols for fully-vaccinated players

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Over the last three weeks, De’Aaron Fox has endured headaches, body aches, chills and a serious case of restlessness, while helplessly watching his Kings fade from the playoff race without him. A particularly potent strain of the coronavirus walloped Fox on April 22 and has kept the Kings’ star point guard quarantined at home ever since. (He is expected to be cleared for basketball activities soon, assuming he passes NBA protocols.) In the meantime, Sacramento lost rookie stud Tyrese Haliburton to a season-ending knee injury.
First, Fox has to get out of the league’s health and safety protocols. The coronavirus “hit me like a truck,” he said, with headaches, body aches, chills and dehydration. It also hit his fiancé, former Cal point guard Recee Caldwell, though both are fine now. They’ve passed the time in quarantine watching a lot of TV and engaging in daily battles of Ping-Pong. (“It gets competitive, because the scores are usually super close,” Fox said.)
Chase Hughes: The D.C. Mayor's office has approved a waiver for the Wizards and Caps to begin allowing 25% capacity that will go into effect on May 14, I'm told. Details are still being ironed out, but looking good for Wizards' final home games and Caps playoffs.
The Orlando Magic are offering the coronavirus vaccine to as many as 2,300 Central Florida residents next week, becoming the latest NBA team to host such an event. The Magic partnered with AdventHealth and city officials to arrange the May 13 event at Amway Center, the team’s home arena. The Moderna vaccine will be available, free of charge, to anyone 18 or older.
Golden State Warriors guard Damion Lee said he tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated. Lee, 28, is considered one of the rare "breakthrough cases" -- one of only 6,000 or so people who have tested positive for the virus after going through the full vaccination process, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "I did test positive for COVID about two weeks ago," Lee said prior to Thursday night's 118-97 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. "I did get the vaccine the middle, end of March, but essentially this was just a rare breakthrough case. ... Right now, there's no timeline in the immediate future for me coming back and playing."
"I had headache, chills, sneezing, congestion, soreness, body aches," Lee said while reading a list off his phone to keep track of everything he dealt with. "It felt like I was hit by a car. Like hit by two cars at once every step I took. It hurt, it was pain, soreness. It felt like there was a weight on my chest for a couple of days, like it was just hard to breathe."
Danielle Lerner: Stephen Silas could not confirm if Jae'Sean Tate, who is out tonight in health and safety protocols, tested positive for COVID. "He was our No. 1 guy we could plug into all the spots where people are injured or we needed help and not having him tonight is gonna be a big hit."
Mike Vorkunov: Madison Square Garden will be able to expand fan attendance to 30% capacity for Knicks and Rangers games on May 19 after a recent decision by NY Gov. Cuomo to ease COVID-19 restrictions. It's been at 10% capacity since Feb. 23, when fans were allowed into the building again.
Shams Charania: Hornets forward Miles Bridges is expected to miss 10-to-14 days due to health and safety protocols, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Bridges is having a strong season, averaging 12.4 points and 6.1 rebounds.
Today the Atlanta Hawks announced plans to increase attendance for postseason play to 7,625 fans, approximately 45 percent of State Farm Arena’s full capacity. The plan received approval by both the NBA and the Georgia Department of Public Health. The Hawks opened the 2020-21 season with no fans in attendance before increasing capacity to 1300 fans on Jan. 26 and later increasing to 3000 fans for the second half of the season on March 13. At 35-30 (.538), the Hawks are currently in 5th place in the Eastern Conference with seven games remaining (six at State Farm Arena) in the regular season. Fans can guarantee priority access to the 2021 Playoffs by visiting Hawks.com/membership or texting or calling (866) 715-1500 for more information.
Mark Murphy: Fournier on his bout with COVID: "It’s a golden opportunity for me to finally be with a great team, and the fact I got COVID is heartbreaking, to be honest. That’s the hard part. You guys don’t know me yet, but I’m as mentally tough as it gets. I’ll get through that for sure.”
Jay King: Fournier said he's been feeling "really weird" since returning from COVID-19. Said it feels like he has a concussion. The bright lights were bothering his eyes and his vision was blurry. Everything going too fast for him. A bit better now but in some ways, "it's still the case."
Sixth man Alec Burks, who is out of COVID-19 protocols, was held out of Sunday’s contest but has a chance of suiting up in Memphis. The Knicks have not made Burks available for comment since his return to the team. He has missed eight straight games. “He’s getting a lot closer,’’ Thibodeau said.
KC Johnson: Billy Donovan on Zach LaVine: "I think we're hopeful that this will take another week. It's our best guess. There will be things he'll have to do going into this week that are set by the league in terms of their policies and protocols."
Months later, in December, Monk would end up testing positive for COVID-19, and he experienced mild symptoms. He lost his sense of taste and smell, had chills, and was forced to isolate for 14 days during the ramp-up to an NBA season that he was greatly anticipating. Then, just when he was starting to get healthy, his grandmother died from the virus. Her death hit Monk hard and made him realize just how dangerous his situation had been. “That s--- was terrible, man,” Monk said.
Josh Robbins: On a Zoom call with reporters, Steve Clifford reiterated that he feels fine and has no symptoms. He had a positive test Thursday night, two negative tests Friday and a positive test this morning. Clifford took another test this afternoon and will have another tomorrow morning.
Tim Reynolds: Steve Clifford does not expect to coach tomorrow night. Still TBD, officially. If he cannot go, Tyrone Corbin will coach the Magic.
The Magic were scheduled to practice Saturday and would have benefited from the work, especially considering their recent roster turnover. But the team had to cancel the session due to health and safety protocols after the positive test for Clifford. He has received his first vaccination shot and is asymptomatic and the team is hoping for a false negative, league sources indicated.
Josh Robbins: Reporting with @Shams Charania: League sources say Magic head coach Steve Clifford has tested positive for the coronavirus, but the Magic are holding out hope it is a false positive. Clifford has had his first vaccine shot already and is asymptomatic.
Roy Parry: The Magic have canceled practice today due to health and safety protocols. No further details are available at this time but tomorrow's game at Amway Center against the Pacers remains on schedule, according to a team official.
Evan Fournier: "I honestly stayed in bed and slept for four or five days. The roughest part was ramping up the activity. The last two days of practice was really hard. I had moments where I was doing good and moments where I was exhausted. That's why you have to push through it. You have to do it to feel better. I don't want to spend another week just ramping up my activity and doing cardio and all that. I need reps with the guys."
People who persistently test positive for COVID-19 after clinically recovering and adequately self-isolating are not likely to spread the virus to others, according to a new study that examined the NBA’s 2020 “bubble” in Orlando. After its season was interrupted by the pandemic last March, the NBA resumed its season in Orlando, Florida, as players were sequestered at Disney World to prevent against infections. Nearly 4,000 players, coaches, staff and vendors were tested daily for the coronavirus.
Shams Charania: Kings guard De’Aaron Fox is expected to miss at least 10-to-14 days due to health and safety protocols, sources tell me and @Sam Amick. Sacramento is currently three games out of play-in 10th seed.
Anthony Slater: Kent Bazemore is also out tonight due to health and safety protocols, per Warriors. The rotation keeps taking hits.
Chris Grenham: Brad Stevens says Rob Williams is still day-to-day, but hasn’t shown enough progress to play yet. Evan Fournier will probably play at some point this weekend, per Stevens.
Jared Weiss: Stevens' Celtics injury update: - Walker under the weather but "Hopefully will be able to go tomorrow." - Brown is doubtful for tomorrow with shoulder bursitis. - Smart is back - Fournier is out - Rob Williams "Tried to do a little bit more but won't be able to go tomorrow."
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.”
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.

https://twitter.com/kylegoon/status/1382436615864287233
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"
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