NBA concerned over ‘around 150 players’ in Miami during All-Star weekend
The NBA is reportedly quite concerned over how a sizable contingent of league players descended upon Miami, Fla., while the league held All-Star Game festivities in Atlanta, Ga., over the weekend.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, an estimated 150 players are believed to have traveled to Miami at some point this past weekend. The concerns of course are that players may have overlooked following league-mandated COVID-19 protocols while enjoying the nightlife in South Beach and Miami’s many other attractions, leaving the league confronting a possible coronavirus outbreak.
“And the reason the NBA knows is because the players have to have COVID tests while they’re there and they had to sign up for them,” the NBA insider said on his “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective Podcast” this week, as transcribed by Bleacher Report. “So the NBA had an accurate count of how many and … this was two days ago, maybe it’s grown, I was told it was in the neighborhood of 150 players were in Miami over the weekend.
“The testing site, which I think, I don’t know for sure, but I think was at the Heat’s facility, I mean that’s where their apparatus is set up. They had to give the players a schedule. Like, it was drive-thru and they had to have multiple lanes and they had to give the players a schedule, like come at this time to get your COVID test, because otherwise they couldn’t handle the crush.”
COVID-19 protocols and the logistics involved in keeping players safe of course complicated holding a scaled-down version of the league’s traditional midseason showcase. Accomplishing as much was of course of the utmost importance to both the league and players’ union.
Silver previously stated that the league would implement what was being described as a “mini-bubble” of sorts in Atlanta, similar to how things operated when the NBA resumed last season at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.
However, going forward with All-Star Game festivities despite the NBA previously postponing the event due to the ongoing pandemic generated no shortage of controversy.
Several of the league’s highest-profile stars — including LeBron James, Bradley Beal and Giannis Antetokounmpo, not to mention Karl-Anthony Towns, among others — questioned the wisdom of holding the event.
The league did announce on Monday, though, that no positive tests were registered among players, coaches and officials over the weekend in Atlanta.
On the other hand and concerning players who would not attend the All-Star Game, Sam Amick of The Athletic wrote ahead of last weekend’s event that it was the “league’s belief is that the players who come will likely be better off than the many who are expected to squeeze in getaways during the short break.”
It would appear the league’s worst fears in that regard were realized.