NBA reports zero positive results from COVID-19 testing in Orlando bubble
NBA reports zero positive results from COVID-19 testing
The NBA reported zero out of 346 players tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week.
Not only should that leave the league feeling relief, it also offers early evidence that the setup at the NBA’s Disney campus could become immune from the country’s rising infection and death rates. This marks the first layer of data that reveals the NBA’s success in its ability to ensure its quarantined campus environment is not impacted by rising COVID-19 cases in Florida.
The league initially reported 25 out of 351 players and 10 out of 884 staff members were positive for COVID-19 when testing began between June 23-39. Those tests took place in each team’s home market and gave each infected person time to complete quarantine before leaving for Orlando between July 7-9. A previously infected person could only travel with the team if they cleared quarantine after completing a cardiac screening and yielding at least two consecutive negative tests. The NBA reported that two out of 322 players tested positive for COVID-19 during quarantine when teams arrived in Florida, but those players never broke quarantine. Those players then returned to their home markets.
The NBA has not disclosed the names of those infected. But Houston’s Russell Westbrook and Sacramento’s Harrison Barnes announced last week they tested positive for COVID-19 before their respective teams left for Orlando. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said before Monday’s practice that he expects Westbrook "is about ready to land here pretty soon." He will have to go through at least two days of quarantine before participating in any practices.
The NBA has put together a 113-page health and safety protocol that requires all participants to wear masks outside, obey social-distancing rules and receive daily testing. Every day, all participants have to report any symptoms, their temperature and oxygen levels. They are also not allowed to leave the campus property, or else they will face an additional 10 days of quarantine without pay. That happened last week to Houston’s Brun Caboclo and Sacramento’s Richaun Holmes.
Some NBA personnel and health experts have expressed concern that Disney employees are not subject to quarantine. As USA TODAY Sports reported last month, Disney officials found it logistically difficult to quarantine hundreds of minimum-wage workers on their campus sites. They are also subject to daily temperature and symptom checks, are paid for sick days and are trained to clean the Disney properties only when NBA personnel are not present.
Westbrook expected to rejoin Rockets 'soon'
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Exactly a week after Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook tested positive for COVID-19, coach Mike D’Antoni said before Monday’s practice that he "is about ready to land here pretty soon."
The Rockets have upcoming scrimmages against the Toronto Raptors (Friday), Memphis Grizzlies (Sunday) and Boston Celtics (July 28), leading D’Antoni to express optimism that Westbrook will appear in at least some of them.
"Friday might be a little early, but that would be up to the medical staff and Russ himself and see how he feels days before," D’Antoni said. "Hopefully he’ll get in a couple of scrimmages and he’ll be ready for us to play."
LeBron rookie card sells for modern-day record
A LeBron James rookie card with a swatch of his Cleveland Cavaliers uniform sold at auction Sunday for a record-setting price of $1.845 million.
The 2003-04 Upper Deck rookie Patch Parallel card was purchased by Lob.com CEO Leore Avidar, ESPN reports, at the highest price ever paid for a basketball card and a record for any card produced in 1980 or later.
The sale comes just two months after a Mike Trout rookie card tied the modern record of $900,000.
The James card is especially rare because in its series, Upper Deck only produced the number of cards that corresponded to the player's jersey. So instead of the usual 99 rookie cards in a standard set, there were only 23 of these rookie cards.
Staff and wire reports