The Celtics haven’t hosted a game in over two months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic, and that hiatus is expected to be extended further as the league sifts through scenarios to return to play.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh outlined the requirements needed for sports teams to host games this summer — albeit with restrictions and protocols — in a recent interview with Michael Silverman of the Boston Globe.
“There will be no fans in Fenway Park in July, there will be no fans in Fenway Park in August — we won’t even be near a situation where there’s herd immunity and there certainly won’t be a vaccine,” Walsh told Silverman, as relayed by Dave Green of NBC Sports Boston.
The chances of a major sporting event commencing with fans this year have continued to dwindle in recent weeks, with just over 1.5 million positive COVID-19 tests being recorded in the United States and nearly five million recorded worldwide as of Sunday.
Walsh understands the importance of pushing sports to return, but only if the proper protocols are followed to ensure that players remain both safe and healthy.
“Certainly on the fan side and the psychological side, I think if baseball could come back like we’re seeing in Taiwan and South Korea, I think that that’s good for people to have a distraction,” he said. “I think sports is one aspect of that. People have different reasons for distraction and sports is one, and I think it would help a lot people’s psyches as far as having baseball and sports back.”
There’s more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:
- Derek Bodner of The Athletic ponders what could’ve been if Joel Embiid started his NBA career healthy. Embiid, the No. 3 pick in 2014, missed both of his first two seasons in the league due to injuries and made his debut in October of 2016. He’s since transitioned into one of the league’s most dominant big men, averaging 23.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game in 44 games this season with the Sixers.
- K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago examined a number of topics in his latest mailbag, including the Bulls’ front office structure, Jim Boylen‘s job security and more. The Bulls recently revamped their front office by hiring Arturas Karnisovas as executive president of basketball operations and Marc Eversley as general manager.
- Eric Nehm and John Hollinger of The Athletic explore the future of the Bucks, examining the team’s current situation and what’s to come. Milwaukee posted an impressive 53-12 record before the NBA season was suspended, dominating opponents at home and on the road.