As the NBA tests more players for COVID-19, it’s quickly becoming apparent that it’s spread across the league. Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz was the first player to get positively tested, but it’s possible he wasn’t the first player to catch it. Several teams have now had players and faculty test positive for the disease. According to The Athletic’s Sham Charania, the Los Angeles Lakers are now among teams that have positive tests.
It’s currently unknown exactly which two players tested positive, but it’s possible that even more have the disease. As Charania noted, more players are to be tested and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they started testing faculty.
It was revealed the Lakers were going to start testing their players after a number of players on the Brooklyn Nets tested positive – including Kevin Durant. The Lakers played the Nets just a day before the Gobert incident. Now that multiple teams are finding positive tests for the coronavirus, it’s possible more teams around the league will start testing. Positive test numbers could start going up quite a bit in the coming weeks.
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Celtics, 76ers Among Other Teams to Get Positive Tests
The Lakers are far from the first and probably far from the last team to receive positive tests. Charania revealed that the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers also had players or faculty who tested positive.
Among the players who tested positive is Celtics guard Marcus Smart, who announced the news on Twitter.
Had the NBA not take drastic steps once Gobert tested positive, things could’ve been a lot worse. Based on all the information coming in, it could be a while before the NBA returns to action. To further combat the spread of the virus, the league has shut down training facilities, per Charania. They are also encouraging players to avoid contact.
When Could the NBA Return to Action?
The only thing that is concrete in regards to the NBA’s hiatus is that they’ll be a 30-day suspension from the day that Gobert tested positive. Based on everything that has happened since, it’s reasonable to believe that it’s going to be longer than that before they return. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the US Surgeon General led NBA owners to believe that a return before July is possible.
One of the big uncertainties is whether or not the league will continue the season from where they left off, shorten the regular season or just go straight into the playoffs. Lakers player Jared Dudley brought up an interesting idea on Twitter.
Unfortunately, teams that are in the hunt for a low seed in the playoffs could get negatively affected by a shortened regular season, but given the circumstances, they may just have to deal with it. If the NBA doesn’t shorten anything, then it’s going affect next season as well. Regardless, the league will have to make some serious changes before things can go back to normal.