New York City mayor Bill de Blasio called out a problem involving the Nets and Kevin Durant that could have an impact on other teams like the Chicago Bulls.
The novel coronavirus has clearly taken its toll on the globe so far, and the United States took actions to lockdown the country of late because of it. As far as the Chicago Bulls goes, and the entirety of the NBA, the hiatus of the season took a backseat on March 17 and 18 as there were more positive tests announced for COVID-19.
The Brooklyn Nets were the team that had four players announced to have tested positive for COVID-19 on March 17. The only player of the four that was identified on the Nets thus far was the injured star forward Kevin Durant.
Moreover, the news that the Nets had four players test positive for COVID-19 came from an official team press release on March 17. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported soon thereafter that one of those players known to have tested positive for COVID-19 was KD.
There was more fuel added to the flame on March 18 as the mayor of New York City, NY, Bill de Blasio made his feelings known on the COVID-19 testing for the Nets team. Mayor de Blasio responded on his Twitter timeline on March 18 with the following statements: “we wish them a speedy recovery” and “with all due respect, an entire NBA team should NOT get tested for COVID-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested”.
This could be a bigger problem in bigger cities like New York City and Chicago as NBA teams get tested before all over the general public is able to. If professional sports teams are getting COVID-19 tests while the general public is still having problems getting them, it is a problem that could continue to boil over elsewhere.
Apparently no Bulls players have shown symptoms of COVID-19 thus far, so this isn’t a problem that would be coming to the city of Chicago as of yet. But other cities with big market NBA teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, and Golden State Warriors could be dealing with a similar dynamic as New York City.
A statement from NBA spokesman Mike Bass on March 17 highlighted why the efforts of the league to make the COVID-19 precautions known counters the point that de Blasio made. Bass stated the following.
"Hopefully, by these players choosing to make their test results public, they have drawn the attention for young people to follow CDC recommendations in order to protect others, particularly those with underlying health conditions and the elderly."
The hope has to be that this is the last of the positive testing for COVID-19 for any NBA player and for the overall pandemic to slow domestically and around the rest of the world.
The first NBA player to test positive for COVID-19, as it was announced, was the Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert. He was followed by his teammate and guard Donovan Mitchell testing positive along with the Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood.
For more information on COVID-19 and precautions to take, you can visit the CDC’s website.