In cities and towns that have coronavirus testing available to healthcare workers, NBA teams will be able to test players and staff members who aren’t showing symptoms, according to an ESPN report on Friday.
Two teams, the Cavaliers and Trail Blazers, opened their facilities on Friday but have yet to be approved for testing.
According to the New York Times, Cavaliers players submitted to temperature and symptom checks with each writing his number on two basketballs in thick Sharpie ink so no one else uses them.
After roughly 90 minutes of weights and shooting, Larry Nance Jr. — who attended the informal workout — said: “It was more for mental health than physical, to be honest with you,” according to the Times report.
Teammates Cedi Osman, Kevin Love and Ante Zizic were also at the facility, according to multiple reports.
Commissioner Adam Silver has said before the league can even consider resuming its season, there would need to be widespread testing available across the country since it would need to test everyone on a regular basis. “The problem obviously is that because we can’t test people, then we can’t assure anybody’s safety, whether they’re basketball players or anyone else,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told The Athletic this week.
This news comes in the wake of the league opening facilities on Friday for teams not located in areas with stay-at-home orders. For instance, the Magic are planning to open their facility on Tuesday, and they have been approved for such testing. The Clippers and Lakers are also expected to be allowed across-the-board testing in advance of opening their facilities. To get approved, teams need authorization from a local official or authority to be sent to the league.
One idea discussed for resuming the season is creating a bubble for players and team personnel, but the NBA believes even that would require 15,000 tests to complete the season. And the league wouldn’t take that step when tests are scarce for everyday people suffering from the virus.
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