With the number of cases of Covid-19 beginning to rise again and the NBA restart looming, they held their testing. The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association on Friday said 16 players tested positive for the coronavirus in the first wave of mandatory tests done in preparation for the restart of the season. Those 16 players were part of a pool of 302 tested on Tuesday — a 5.3% rate of positive tests league wide. Commissioner Adam Silver said the numbers were roughly as expected and that none of the 16 was seriously ill. “One thing we’re learning with this virus is, so much is unpredictable,” Silver said during Friday’s conference call with National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts and NBPA president Chris Paul.
“We’re not saying full steam ahead no matter what happens. We all talk daily, and we’re going to see how this continues to play out. But we feel very comfortable right now with where we are.” Any player who tested positive will remain in self-isolation until he satisfies public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and has been cleared by a physician. The player names were not disclosed; some players, such as Malcolm Brogdon of Indiana and Sacramento teammates Jabari Parker and Alex Len, have publicly acknowledged they recently tested positive. The NBA season is scheduled to resume on July 30 with 22 teams participating in Orlando, Florida. The league did not announce results of testing on staffers and other members of team travel parties, all of whom are also part of the mandatory testing program.
On Tuesday, teams were required to begin testing players participating in voluntary workouts in their home markets every other day. Mandatory workouts begin July 1, and teams participating in the restart can begin to arrive in Florida on July 7. Training camps will run from July 9 to 29 with three scrimmages per team. On Thursday, the NBA shared with its players the security plan to help enforce health and safety protocols and to secure its campus at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for the resumption of the season, league sources told ESPN. With all that’s going on, do you think these 5 teams have the best chances of winning it all?