Following Miami‘s 128-124 loss to the Nets on Saturday night, Heat star Bam Adebayo wanted to swap jerseys with Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving. However, as the two players attempted to remove their shirts, a masked security guard rushes over to prevent the transaction.
In the video of the encounter, viewers can see the attempted jersey swap was all in good fun. After the security guard pushes Adebayo away from Irving, the Heat star gets a playful head slap from the Nets’ DeAndre Jordan.
While swapping jerseys with a player from the opposite team is a long-running post-game tradition, under the NBA’s new COVID-19 health and safety protocols, this kind of trade has been banned. Players are limited to fist and elbow bumps pre and post-game.
The Heat have a chance to redeem themselves against the Nets when they play again on January 25.
Adebayo Scored a Career-High 41 Points Against the Nets on Saturday
Despite the team’s loss, the 23-year-old Kentucky alum had reason to be in a good mood on Saturday night. Adebayo went off scoring a career-high 41 points including an insanely impressive buzzer-beater at halftime. It was the type of aggressive playing that the Heat needs from its starting power forward.
Adebayo became the 11th Heat player to ever score 40 points in one game, NBA.com reported. Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman said of Adebayo’s performance:
What Saturday showed was the maturity of a player responding from an underwhelming performance a night earlier. What matters is that Bam Adebayo has grown exponentially as an offensive player. The defense has been there practically from the start. Then came the playmaking. Then the mid-range jumper. Now there is the confidence to play as closer. And for a team with playoff aspirations, you can never have too many of those.
What Players Can & Cannot Do Under the NBA’s Coronavirus Safety Guidelines
Just a few weeks into the NBA’s 2020-2021 season, COVID-19 has once again proved to be an undefeatable issue. After numerous games were forced into postponement due to contact tracing, the league announced on January 12 a new set of much stricter healthy and safety guidelines in order to prevent further widespread issues.
After the NBA met with the Board of Governors, they released a new set of rules in hopes they can continue to move forward without coronavirus forcing the league into an extended break.
Under the new guidelines, players are prohibited from entering the arena more than three hours before tipoff, and “must always wear facemasks in the locker room, during strength and conditioning activities and when traveling with anyone other than a household member, according to the new rules obtained by AP. And yes, the NBPA signed off on all of these,” Associated Press reporter Tim Reynolds tweeted.
Post-game, there will be no high-fives or hugs. Shams Charania tweeted, “NBA players are now only allowed to elbow or fist bump when socializing pre-and post-game and maintain six feet of distance.”
For the next two weeks, any pre-game locker meeting must be limited to 10 minutes or less, and everyone must wear a face mask. Between games, players are no longer allowed to dine out at previously league-approved restaurants.