The NBA’s bubble pierced ever so slightly on Monday with the announcement that two players tested positive for the coronavirus while in Orlando and were sent home or into self-isolation.
Full NBA/NBPA release on latest coronavirus testing results. pic.twitter.com/8FjORN5Ss0— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 13, 2020
Both players received their test results before exiting the mandatory hotel room quarantine period, so the hope is that they were unable to pass the virus on to anyone else. However, it still possible that other individuals in their traveling parties contracted the virus and have yet to develop symptoms, which can take up to 14 days.
There was also a report that two players — Bruno Caboclo of the Rockets and Richaun Holmes of the Sacramento Kings — broke the rules of the league’s protocol. Caboclo exited his room during his mandated self-isolation and Holmes stepped outside the bubble to pick up food delivery. Both players are now in additional 10-day quarantines.
Doc Rivers and Kawhi Leonard were asked about their confidence in the safety of the campus environment in response to this latest news, and both had positive outlooks.
“It’s probably grown, if anything,” Rivers said Monday. “I mean, right now, look outside the bubble what’s going on. I mean, right now the United States is on fire in some ways as far as COVID. Here we’ve had two tests. We’ve had two guys, two guys who broke protocol. One I know that was a mistake, and the other one just happened. I’m very, very happy with what’s gone on so far. Does that mean we’re going to be able to pull this off? I don’t think anybody knows that yet. But the guys that I’m hearing, overall not a lot of complaining going on. We don’t have the place to complain when you think about it with what’s going on in the world. No, I’m fine with what’s going on.”
Leonard was seemingly unfazed that the coronavirus had made it it onto the campus site, but remained faithful in the NBA’s protocols to keep players, staff, and league officials safe.
“I mean, it’s no surprise to me that somebody got it within the bubble,” Leonard said. “You bring in so many people from different cities and states, and there’s no control over it pretty much. But I think we’re doing the best that we can. The NBA put together this process, this quarantine, and we’re doing everything under the guidelines of testing every day, trying to keep ourselves socially distant from everyone. But who knows, I mean, what’s going to happen. All we can do is try to stay optimistic about it and positive, and hopefully we can finish this season.”
More news for Tuesday:
- Leonard is healthy after the four-month layoff, as Blake wrote yesterday, and happy that there will be a 2020 champion. Meanwhile, Jovan Buha still has some questions about how Rivers are Leonard are talking about the superstar’s physical fitness.
- Former Clipper Boban Marjanovic has been a star in the bubble, his personality on full display. Tim Cato talked to people around the league about what makes Boban so lovable. My favorite anecdote comes from Danilo Gallinari on Boban’s lunch invitation.
- Tim Reynolds spoke to equipment managers about the unique challenge of supplying players in a bubble.
- ESPN picked surprise players for each team during the restart, and Reggie Jackson earns the nod for the Clippers.
- Joseph Bien-Kahn on what a title would mean for the Clippers.
- Paolo Uggetti on how coaches and players are handling practice in the bubble after so much time off.