Warriors’ Bob Myers on testing: “We’re treating ourselves like people. We’re not better than anybody.”

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NYC mayor Bill de Blasio put the NBA under the spotlight with a tweet criticizing the fact the Brooklyn Nets all got tested as a precaution while there are critically ill patients waiting still waiting for their tests. Nets and Thunder officials defended their organizations by saying they got the tests in private facilities and paid out of pocket, not to burden the public healthcare system.

Your mileage may vary with this explanation, but there are other ways of doing things, and the Golden State Warriors are proof. The Warriors were scheduled to play the Nets in San Francisco on the night the league suspended the season. The game didn’t happen, but it’s possible that players from both teams spent time together that night, mainly because Kevin Durant was in town with the Nets. Durant and several other Brooklyn players tested positive, meaning the Warriors can reasonably suspect they could be infected.

But unlike other NBA teams, the Warriors didn’t test anyone yet. As recommended by public health officials, particularly in a time where testing is in low supply, the Warriors are not testing asymptomatic team members or staff (asymptomatic means they are not presenting any symptoms of the disease: fever, tiredness, cough, shortness of breath.) Everyone is put in self-isolation and has to monitor for these symptoms; they get tested only if they start experiencing several of those.

“We’ve been told that the testing is in short supply and we’re treating ourselves like people, which is what we are. We’re not better than anybody, not worse. Just a basketball team. … I’ve been told by our doctors, medical community, we shouldn’t be testing asymptomatic people at this point in California. … We’ve been told there’s not enough tests to do that.”

Bob Myers, via The Athletic

In translation, once Gobert tested positive, everyone who was in contact could’ve gone into self-isolation as soon as possible and monitor their symptoms. If they show symptoms within two weeks, they get a test and find out if they have the disease. That way, they are responsible towards themselves, people around them AND the Jazz don’t use up 60% of the state of Oklahoma’s daily testing capability and 20% of their total testing supply at that time. There was a way to do this more responsibility towards the community, but it wasn’t as convenient.

To be fair, Adam Silver was on The Jump last night and addressed this criticism. Silver said that the decision to test all the Jazz players was not made at the request of the Utah Jazz, but by an Oklahoma public health official. The following tests, as explained by Silver, were according to protocols developed with medical experts.

I’m going to take Commissioner Silver at his best and trust him the Jazz had no choice. But for all other testings, the protocol was developed beforehand with medical experts telling them the possibly best case scenario. It was still within the NBA’s right, as we see with the Warriors, to say that only people with symptoms should get tested, and everyone else remains in self-isolation. The NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said she was “disappointed” in the criticism players have been getting for getting tested.

“There’s nothing irresponsible — if you’ve got that information [that you’ve been exposed] — about trying to get the tests.”

Michelle Roberts, via ESPN

If you know some people need tests more than you do, and you are not in critical condition or even presenting any symptoms – yes, it’s irresponsible. Roberts talked about the responsibility of the Federal Government and their failure to make sure there are enough testing capabilities for everyone, and I fully agree with that. That’s the central issue in the United States right now, and no-one should be held responsible as much as those at the top.

But if you talk about your love of fans, appreciating the community you play in, and the importance of everyone taking care of each other, then you can’t pick convenience and be “disappointed” that you are getting criticized. We are capable of saying the Federal Government has failed us, and the NBA in this regard disappointed us. That doesn’t mean we don’t acknowledge and appreciate everything else the players and the league did so far. We can hold more than one thought at the same time.

Adam Silver responds, NBPA’s Michele Roberts defends players, critical of government on virus testing

Ramona Shelburne | ESPN

National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts said she was “disappointed” in the criticism NBA teams and players have gotten for receiving access to COVID-19 tests and sounded off on who she believes is responsible for the scarcity of public tests in America: the federal government.

“There’s nothing irresponsible — if you’ve got that information [that you’ve been exposed] — about trying to get the tests,” Roberts told ESPN on Wednesday.

“The problem that more of us can’t get the tests — and I’m not apologetic about saying it — in my view, that rests at the foot of the federal government. They were responsible for making sure we were protected in that regard, and I think they failed.

“We shouldn’t be fighting about this now … but once this is done and we get through it, and we will, let’s figure out who screwed up and fix that.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols on Wednesday that eight teams had been tested since Utah center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, and the league suspended its season last Wednesday.

The Brooklyn Nets disclosed Tuesday that four of their players had tested positive for the virus. The Nets had not recently played the Jazz or Detroit Pistons (who have since confirmed a player tested positive) so it was not immediately clear why the Nets had all been tested.

The Nets said in a statement Wednesday that several players and staff were experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, prompting the team’s traveling party to get tested for the coronavirus. The Nets said they “sourced the tests through a private company and paid for them ourselves because we did not want to impact access to [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]’s public resources.”

De Blasio blasted the team on Twitter and suggested NBA players were being given preferential treatment because they were rich and had access to better health care than the general population, where there has been frustration over testing protocols and availability.

“We wish them a speedy recovery,” de Blasio said in his tweet. “But, 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. Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick.”

Roberts said she understood the criticism but reiterated her criticism of how the government has handled the crisis.

“I get it,” Roberts said. “People should not be having to wait in line. The at-risk population should be the first to be tested. But god damn it, if the government had done what they were supposed to do, we wouldn’t be competing for an opportunity to be tested.”

Roberts said that public health officials have expressed concern about infected NBA players exposing others to the virus because of the high number of players they come in contact with and how much they travel.

“We were doing games where tens of thousands of people were coming into our arenas. We were exposing potentially a lot of people to being infected,” Roberts said. “I get it. If you’re 65 years old — I’m 64 — and you’re symptomatic and want to get tested, it must be difficult to hear about some young’uns getting tested. I get that. And the players get that. But to the extent that there was some effort to find out just how pervasive our infection was so that people would know.

“To be perfectly candid with you, if I was at the arena in OKC when the announcement was made, when the game was canceled, I would be concerned.

“In many ways, I think it would have been irresponsible for the teams not to test their players and staffers because people in that arena have the right to know if they’d been exposed.”

Roberts said she has advised her players to report any symptoms of the virus to team officials if they come up. She is actively discouraging any stigma from being attached to players who might test positive.

“I’m distressed if any player is distressed about having his name out there,” she said. “There is no stigma attached to testing positive for coronavirus. I’m probably positive for coronavirus if I’m tested. Most of us will. I’m now hearing 50% of the population is probably going to be infected. We need to stop being concerned about there being some stigma about being infected — ‘Oh my God, he’s got the ‘rona.’

“That’s nonsense to worry about that. We need to worry about how we can contain it. My message to the players is, ‘Don’t for one second be embarrassed about it. There’s nothing embarrassing about it. This is not something that suggests you’ve done anything wrong. If you have it, now you know you need to be more careful in terms of your interactions.'”

KD among four Nets to test positive for COVID-19

Kevin Durant reportedly tests positive for coronavirus: ‘We’re going to get through this’

Cassandra Negley | Yahoo Sports

Kevin Durant tested positive for the coronavirus COVID-19, he told The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

“Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine,” he said, per Charania. “We’re going to get through this.”

The Brooklyn Nets superstar and two-time NBA Finals MVP has not played this season after suffering an Achilles injury in the 2019 NBA Finals while with the Golden State Warriors. Charania tweeted that Durant did not exhibit symptoms.

Nets announce 4 players tested positive

The Nets announced Tuesday that four players had tested positive for the virus, though they did not identify any by name. Three of the four Nets players who tested positive are asymptomatic, the team said. They are each in isolation and under the care of physicians.

The players were tested when the team returned home from San Francisco, where they were scheduled to play the Warriors when the NBA suspended play. The team reportedly paid out of pocket to conduct tests.

The team is reaching out to those who have been in contact with the players. Brooklyn faced the Boston CelticsMemphis GrizzliesSan Antonio SpursChicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers in March. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told Anthony Slater of The Athletic he’s not sure if his players had contact with Durant or any Nets players the night before the game.

More NBA players test positive for coronavirus

The NBA season was suspended within an hour of Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert testing positive for the coronavirus. He was the league’s “Patient Zero.” Teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive after the entire team and staff were tested that night.

Gobert has since urged people to take the issue seriously. A Detroit Pistons player has also tested positive.

NBA Managed To Get 58 Coronavirus Tests Despite Massive Shortage

Testing kits for the virus have been dangerously scarce, but that didn’t seem to stop NBA players from quickly getting screened

Sebastian Murdock | HUFFPOST

As COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, sweeps across the U.S., testing kits needed to identify the illness have been in dismally short supply. But the NBA seemed to have no problem this week getting 58 testing kits in one day.

On Wednesday, the NBA announced it was suspending its season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The discovery set off a chain of events leading to the dramatic cancellation of a game just before tipoff and a wave of other sports institutions announcing their own season suspensions.

On Thursday, 58 people in Oklahoma ― a group of Utah Jazz players, coaching staff and local journalists ― were tested for the virus. Only one other person, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, was found to have the virus. The Daily Beast was the first to ask how the NBA was able to get its hands on so many tests amid a widespread shortage:

A powerful, wealthy pro sports league flexed the political capital and financial might required to get government officials to spring into action. The unintentional byproduct, though, is another, equally jarring number: 7,617 people in total have been tested for the virus by state labs as of Thursday, and those 58 tests, or a staggering .8 percent, were conducted on employees of one professional basketball team.

Oklahoma Health Commissioner Gary Cox said Thursday that the state currently has the “capacity to run about 100 tests a day.” That means those associated with the NBA got roughly 60 percent of the state’s daily testing, The Daily Beast noted.

There are currently two known active cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma, but that number is expected to go up. Representatives for the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma Department of Health did not immediately respond to questions from HuffPost.

As the situation becomes more alarming, many planned events, concerts and sports seasons have been postponed, rescheduled or canceled to help slow the spread of the virus.

Rudy Gobert tries to make amends for being ‘careless’ about coronavirus with big donation

Rudy Gobert donates $500,000 to arena workers and coronavirus-related services in Utah, Oklahoma and France

Chris Cwik | Yahoo Sports

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert is trying to make things right after being “careless.” Gobert — who became the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus — announced a $500,000 donation Saturday. A portion of that donation will go toward making sure part-time arena workers at Vivint Smart Home Arena are compensated while the NBA season is suspended.

Gobert will give $200,000 to Jazz arena workers who will miss out on working games at Vivint Smart Home Arena, where the Jazz play. He will give $100,000 to families in Utah and Oklahoma affected by the virus. Gobert is also donating 100,000 Euros to assist families in France. Gobert is from France.

Rudy Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive with coronavirus

Gobert was effectively patient zero among professional sports leagues in the United States. After joking about the virus, Gobert fell ill prior to the Jazz’s Wednesday game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. That game was postponed after Gobert tested positive for coronavirus. The NBA reacted to Gobert’s positive test quickly, postponing the season indefinitely.

Rudy Gobert apologized for being ‘careless,’ is trying to make things right

Realizing his mistake, Gobert apologized a few days after news broke he had tested positive. He said he was “careless,” and encouraged people to use him as an example of why the coronavirus should be taken seriously. Saturday’s donation is more of the same for Gobert, who is now using his platform in a positive manner after initially dismissing the virus.

Other NBA stars have joined Rudy Gobert with donations

Gobert is the latest NBA player to donate money to part-time NBA arena workers. Giannis AntetokounmpoBlake Griffin and Zion Williamson are among the NBA players to donate money to those affected by the NBA suspending play. A few team owners, including Mark Cuban, have also agreed to pay team staff for time missed.

Warriors pledge $1M to Chase Center employees affected by coronavirus; Steph Curry’s foundation to help feed out-of-school students

Ali Thanawalla | NBC SPORTS

Joe Lacob and the Warriors aren’t forgetting about the people that make games at Chase Center flow like a well-oiled machine.

The organization announced Friday night that it will contribute $1 million to a disaster relief fund to help pay all part-time and hourly employees while the NBA is suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“The last few days have been extremely challenging for all Bay Area citizens as we deal with the hourly changes in this unprecedented situation,” Lacob said in a statement released by the team. “Our players, coaches, ownership and management have been focused on creating a way to assist our part-time employees. We are addressing the potential hardships these hard-working individuals may encounter during this hiatus in the NBA season. While everyone and every business is impacted, those who are fortunate enough to be in a position to help, need to help.”

“The men and women who work our games at Chase Center are critical in providing an incredible game-night experience for our fans, including of course, the popcorn vendors,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry said in the statement released by the team. “As players, we wanted to do something, along with our ownership and coaches, to help ease the pain during this time.”

Lacob had indicated earlier in the day that the Warriors would take care of the people hit hardest by the stoppage, and the owner made good on his word.

Chase Center employs more than 1,000 hourly workers, so no games or concerts at the arena means no paychecks. But the Warriors are making sure those vital people don’t have to worry during the pause in the NBA season.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday that the suspension could last at least 30 days.

Several NBA teams have pledged to take care of their arena employees. Even a few marquee players — Kevin Love, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Zion Williamson and Blake Griffin — each donated $100,000 to help support workers in their respective arenas.

In such an uncertain time, it’s good to see organizations looking out for the people that are so important to their operations.

Coronavirus: Steph Curry’s foundation to help feed out-of-school students

Brian Witt | NBC SPORTS

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted sports figures and everyday people alike.

Steph Curry and the Warriors were sent home after the NBA season was indefinitely suspended Wednesday. On Friday, the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) joined many others in doing the same with its students.

There are over 18,000 students within the OUSD that rely on their school for at least two meals per day. With school no longer in session, there is a huge void to fill. Curry and his wife, Ayesha, announced Friday night that they are attempting to help do so.

The Currys, through their foundation, Eat.Learn.Play., are donating to the Alameda Food Bank to help serve the displaced students, and they’re inviting you to join them in the cause.

“We’re trying to do our part,” Steph said. “Hopefully you can join the fight with us and have each other’s backs as we go through this uncertain time in our community.”

Those interested in donating to the cause can do so at:

https://donate.accfb.org/supporting-families

Kevin Love, others pledge to help displaced NBA workers during coronavirus suspension

Ryan Young | Yahoo Sports

The NBA’s decision to suspend the season indefinitely amid the COVID-19 outbreak will leave countless employees out of work across the league.

And with no specific timetable in place for when league plans to start up again, those displaced workers have no idea when they can expect to see a paycheck again — something that will certainly leave families in a tough position.

Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love and several teams across the league, however, are ready to help.

Kevin Love donates $100,000 to Cavs support staff

Love announced on Instagram on Thursday that he was going to donate $100,000 through his foundation to help the team’s support staff and arena staff while they are out of work.

That decision, he said, will hopefully help bring a bit of calm to the unprecedented time in the NBA. 

“Pandemics are not just a medical phenomenon,” Love wrote on Instagram, in part. “They affect individuals and society on so many levels, with stigma and xenophobia being just two aspects of the impact of a pandemic outbreak. It’s important to know that those with a mental illness may be vulnerable to the effects of widespread panic and threat. Be kind to one another. Be understanding of their fears, regardless if you don’t feel the same. Be safe and make informed decisions during this time. And I encourage everyone to take care of themselves and reach out to others in need — whether that means supporting your local charities that are canceling events  or checking in on your colleagues and family.”

Several others in the league have pledged to help, too.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban addressed the issue on Wednesday night, almost instantly pledging to create a program for hourly workers at the American Airlines Center.

Hawks owner Tony Ressler agreed to join Cuban in his efforts on Thursday morning, too, and will create a program for the workers at State Farm Arena.  The 76ers made a similar pledge in a statement on Thursday, too.

Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller wrote on Twitter that he was prepared to make sure the support staff was taken care of, even if he has to “pay out of pocket” himself.

Though the disruption may be annoying for them, the players and management in the league will be fine during the break. Thanks to Love, Zeller and others, it sounds like the most impacted will be fine after all.

Hopefully others around the league follow their example shortly, too.

Coronavirus: NBA players’ Twitter reaction to league suspending season

NBC SPORTS

Things changed very quickly in the NBA on Wednesday.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver reportedly was expected to announce Thursday that the remainder of the season would be played in empty arenas, but the league instead suspended its season Wednesday night after a player on the Utah Jazz tested positive for the new coronavirus (COVID-19). The player reportedly was Utah center Rudy Gobert, and the Jazz-Oklahoma City Thunder game then was suspended.

Current and former NBA players found out about the league’s plan at the same time as everyone else, and their live reactions on Twitter were something to behold.

If the NBA doesn’t resume its season as some around the league reportedly fear, Wednesday could’ve been Vince Carter’s last game. Carter has been a fixture in the league, playing 22 seasons across four decades.

Now, Carter and the rest of the NBA will wait and see what’s next.