Booster Day and New Guidelines Looming as COVID Disrupts NBA

There will be no game in Chicago on Tuesday, and the Bulls will not travel to Toronto for a game on Thursday.

The NBA’s day-to-day activities have been interrupted by the coronavirus.

The Bulls have been shut down for at least a few days, with 10 players undergoing health and safety procedures. The impact, though, isn’t restricted to Chicago.

Here are a few of Tuesday’s highlights: The Brooklyn Nets were without seven players for their home game against Toronto on Tuesday due to the protocols; Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks will not play on Wednesday due to the protocols; and the Los Angeles Lakers canceled practice on Tuesday after at least one player tested positive.

Indiana coach Rick Carlislie has missed games in recent days, while Raptors President Masai Ujiri tested positive after hosting an event that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum attended, forcing them to undergo daily testing ever since. It’s not just athletes and executives that are affected; referees and broadcast crews are also affected.

All of this confirms what NBA executives have been saying for weeks: the epidemic is still an issue, which is why Friday is so important. On Booster Day, the league’s most crucial percentage will not be made up of 3-pointers.

According to the NBA’s latest statistics, more than 60% of players have had their booster injections. Under the new standards, this might imply that about 150 players would be subjected to daily testing once more.

For several weeks, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have urged players and staff to obtain their coronavirus booster vaccine. The most recent league criteria will be applied on Friday.

There have been some startling reminders recently that the epidemic is far from finished and will not be going away any time soon. In addition to the Bulls and Nets’ weakened rosters and Carlisle’s absence due to health and safety standards, Indiana and Toronto recently had to cancel certain practices just in case, while other clubs have undergone additional testing to assure their safety.

For Monday night’s game, the Pacers and Warriors had only two officials, with the third in charge of health and safety regulations. Following contact with someone who tested positive, the Raptors confirmed that their broadcast team will self-isolate as a precaution.

Seven Nets were unable to participate on Tuesday night, including James Harden. Because Kevin Durant was upgraded from doubtful to probable, Brooklyn just had enough players to avoid the game being postponed.

While sitting in for Carlisle last Friday, Pacers assistant coach Lloyd Pierce summed up the present status of the epidemic when he stated, “It’s always joyous when you simply go on the floor….” There’s always something going on in the state of COVID.”

The NHL has already canceled some games this season, and the NBA joined them on Monday when it announced that two Bulls games will be canceled. Postponements were always a possibility this season, according to the league. Last season, about 30 games were shifted about, but they all got played in the end.

With few exclusions, a team worker who does not receive their booster shot by Friday will no longer be able to have in-person access with players, coaches, and referees, according to the new league booster standards. In addition, the worker will be barred from participating in road excursions with their clubs.

Players who haven’t gotten their booster will be tested again on game day, and the league reserves the right to conduct additional testing on their particular teams as needed in the future.

After attending his charity event, Ujiri said that he was among those who tested positive for the virus. “We don’t want to live in terror of this virus,” Ujiri said in a statement, “but COVID is a relentless opponent.” We’ll be able to fight it if we work together.”

Zach LaVine, Troy Brown Jr., DeMar DeRozan, Matt Thomas, Coby White, Javonte Green, Derrick Jones Jr., Ayo Dosunmu, Stanley Johnson, and now Alize Johnson are all out for the Bulls.

Before returning to basketball, players in the health and safety procedures must be sidelined for at least 10 days or pass two COVID-19 tests in a 24-hour period.

Bulls center Nikola Vucevic recently commented, “I think it’s part of the environment we live in right now.” “A lot of what’s going on with COVID right now doesn’t make any sense. Obviously, scientists and everyone else on the planet don’t have the answers, and I certainly don’t.”

Vucevic claimed that he would not have realized he was positive if he hadn’t tested positive. He stated he didn’t have any symptoms other than a “small cold,” and that if it hadn’t been for COVID, he wouldn’t have given it further consideration.

“It’s difficult when there are a lot of guys like this all at once.” Our only hope is that no one else comes up with something positive.”

Carlisle was unable to play against his previous team, the Dallas Mavericks, due to injury. Pierce stepped in and attempted to make things as normal as possible, following Carlisle’s lead. The Pacers were victorious, defeating the Mavs 106-93.

Even still, the Pacers had an anxious 24 hours before tipoff as they awaited the results of all the testing.

After the win, Pacers power forward/center Domantas Sabonis remarked, “Apart from the scare, I believe everyone was thrilled we got a day off, to be honest.” “I was overjoyed. I’ve spent five days in the protocol. So I’ve been putting it to the test. I felt confident in my abilities. We had to make certain that no one else was optimistic.”

Because it’s still part of the territory, the NBA is upping its game.

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