At this point of the season, 17 NBA teams have begun allowing fans to attend games in person, albeit in limited capacity (no team is exceeding 25 percent). The Detroit Pistons are reportedly joining that group today as they will have up to 750 fans in attendance for their contest against the Toronto Raptors, and the Raptors are set to welcome fans to Amalie Arena on March 19.
There has been no update from the Clippers, or any California team for that matter, about when fans will be in attendance for their home games, though there have been rumors that Staples Center is hoping to have a reduced number of fans by the playoffs.
Earlier this week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti gave some credence to that timetable, saying having fans for the NBA playoffs is a “realistic timeline”. Garcetti suggested that fans in attendance should have to confirm vaccination via a “vaccine passport” of some sorts, so that there can be some benefit for having been through the vaccination process.
“We don’t have dates yet for NBA,” Garcetti said. “I would hope by playoffs, when one or both of our LA teams is in the playoffs—both of them should get there—we should have some limited capacity and get fans back.”
The last time the Clippers hosted a home game with fans was back on March 8, 2020 against their hallmates, the Lakers. If the Mayor’s hopes come to fruition, and the playoff bracket breaks a certain way, they’ll be able to face the Lakers once more with their fans in the building soon enough.
More news for Wednesday:
- Highly recommend this feature from Melissa Rohlin on assistant coach Natalie Nakase and the lessons she’s learned from the Clippers who have passed through during her tenure with the team.
- John Gonzalez has the incredible story of how being displaced by COVID-19 led to Adam Tatalovich becoming an overseas scout for the New York Knicks.
- Chris Mannix reports that the Clippers have interest in Terry Rozier in addition to George Hill and Ricky Rubio.
- How the NBA and its reporters have returned to business.
- And here’s an update on how the league has fared with the virus while playing during the pandemic.
499 players have appeared in an NBA game this season. By my count, 101 of them have missed at least 1 contest due to COVID-19 or the health and safety protocols – more than 20% of the league.— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) March 17, 2021