The Sixers were tested as a team after Detroit Pistons center Christian Wood tested positive for COVID-19, as the Sixers were the last team to play the Pistons before the season was indefinitely suspended due to the outbreak of the virus.
In addition to the three members of the 76ers’ organization, Jazz All-Stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for COVID-19, as did Christian Wood, two Lakers players, Marcus Smart of the Celtics, Kevin Durant and three other Nets players, and a member of the Nuggets organization. “Following two players testing positive last week, others were tested and five additional players tested positive. Hopefully, by these players choosing to make their test results public, they have drawn attention to the critical need for young people to follow CDC recommendations in order to protect others, particularly those with underlying health conditions and the elderly.”
NBA team facilities will reportedly be closed to players and team staff beginning on Friday in order to try to curb the outbreak of the virus. “Again, I’d say we’ve done new and creative things in the past, we experimented with this year’s All-Star Game with a unique ending, we’ve talked about play-in tournaments for going into the playoffs, there may be other things we can do with the format. I know I’ve heard from a lot of our players. It’s been less than a week, they’re going stir crazy, they want to play, they want to compete. We’re gonna try by every means we can to play basketball again, but the safety and health of our players and fans is first.”
While a return to basketball this season would be great, it’s obviously secondary to the health and safety of the teams, players and fans.