The saga of Marcus Smart and his positive coronavirus test continues, with an inspiring conclusion.
Smart and his representatives have confirmed to multiple media outlets that, after having cleared the virus last week, he will be donating his plasma in an effort to aid doctors in finding a way to fight coronavirus. The NBA has urged players who have tested positive to donate plasma.
Smart has been at the forefront of the coronavirus and the NBA. On March 12, he was told with the rest of the Celtics that they should self-quarantine amid coronavirus concerns. Even though he was feeling fine, he said he tested positive for the coronavirus on March 19 and has been biding his time since. On Sunday evening, he tweeted that he had cleared the coronavirus two days earlier and was no longer in danger of falling ill with COVID-19, the disease associated with the virus.
Smart tweeted: “Thanks for everyone’s thoughts and prayers and I’m doing the same for everyone that’s been effected by this. Stay safe and stay together- apart! Much love!”
Smart was the only athlete in major Boston sports to have tested positive for coronavirus.
NBA Players Donating for COVID-19 Project
At least four players who have recovered from the infection will donate their plasma, Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist Michael Joyner told ABC News. Smart is one and the other three are unnamed. The move is part of a wider project to collect plasma from recovered COVID-19 (the disease associated with coronavirus) patients to create a treatment that could help patients who are struck with a severe case of the disease and other research on the disease.
The program, called the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, also got a donation of $100,000 from the league, which has come under criticism for having its players tested while the bulk of the country is saddled with a shortage of tests.
Commissioner Adam Silver responded to those criticisms last month, telling ESPN, “We’ve been following the recommendations of public health officials. … We’ve had eight NBA teams — full teams — that have been tested now and members of other teams that were showing symptoms. And again, I understand from a public health standpoint why some people have reacted the way they did but I’d say from an NBA standpoint, we were following directives.”
ESPN broadcaster Doris Burke, who showed symptoms of COVID-19 but announced last week that she had recovered, has also said she would like to donate plasma.
Multiple NBA Players Tested Positive for Coronavirus
Initially, there was a rash of positive coronavirus tests within the NBA. It was the positive test of Jazz center Rudy Gobert back on March 11 that pushed Silver into making the difficult decision of suspending league action altogether, and Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell was later found to have tested positive, too.
Detroit’s Christian Wood also tested positive, as well as Smart. Two unnamed members of the Lakers tested positive but have cleared the virus, the team announced. Four members of the Nets had positive tests for coronavirus, too, though only Kevin Durant acknowledged he is one of them.
Three members of the Sixers organization and one member of the Nuggets—whether those were players was never disclosed—also tested positive.