Coronavirus Notes: Next Steps, Barkley, Testing

In addition to recommending that its players self-quarantine through at least March 16, the NBA has told its clubs that each team is “encouraged” to conduct an educational session by Monday for its players and staff to discuss the coronavirus situation, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

While those meetings could happen in person, it seems more likely they’ll take place remotely, given the NBA’s call to self-isolate. According to Charania, several teams already conducted meetings along those lines before the season was suspended on Wednesday.

Here are more updates on the ongoing coronavirus situation:

  • While the NBA may have its own plans in mind for how and when to resume the season, those plans will be impacted by edicts from local governments. For instance, Adam Hoge of NBC Sports Chicago tweets that the owners of all of Chicago’s major sports teams – including the Bulls – told Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker they won’t host any home games with fans in attendance through at least May 1. New York mayor Bill de Blasio, meanwhile, suggested on Thursday that venues like Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden could be closed for “months,” as Malika Andrew of ESPN tweets.
  • NBA analyst Charles Barkley said on TNT on Thursday night that he hasn’t been feeling well and has self-quarantined, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Barkley was tested for COVID-19 and is awaiting those results, Feigen adds.
  • Teams around the NBA want to be able to test their players for the coronavirus, but a limited supply of testing equipment nationwide restricts their ability to do so unless players or staffers are showing symptoms or have definitely come in contact with someone who was affected, writes Sam Amick of The Athletic.
  • The McDonald’s All American Games – a showcase for high school players – announced on Thursday evening (via Twitter) that its 2020 events have been canceled.
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