Restart Notes: Testing, TBT, Campus, Entertainment

When NBA commissioner Adam Silver first began talking in the spring about the possibility of resuming the 2019/20 season, he stressed that he didn’t want the league to be taking away coronavirus testing resources from the public. Now that 22 teams have reported to the Orlando campus and daily COVID-19 testing is taking place, that’s an issue worth watching, writes Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports.

According to Haberstroh, the NBA recently switched testing providers, going from Quest Diagnostics to BioReference Laboratories right around the same time that Quest issued a press release announcing a surge in demand and a delay in processing results. Major League Soccer is also using BioReference Laboratories for coronavirus testing and neither the MLS nor NBA has faced processing delays from BioReference so far. However, according to Haberstroh, BioReference is “experiencing serious delays” with the general public.

Dr. Zachary Binney, an epidemiologist at Oxford College of Emory University, tells Haberstroh that the optics of the NBA getting preferential treatment are troublesome, especially at a time when many states are being hit harder than ever by the coronavirus.

“If BioReference or Quest is unable to return tests to the general public in less than 3-5 days, then I think the NBA (receiving priority) is causing a problem,” Binney said. “The NBA has only two choices. One is to jump to the front of the line with sick people in the hospital or they have to wait an unsatisfactory amount of time to get their results that gives the virus space to move throughout the bubble. Neither of those choices are acceptable.”

Here’s more on the NBA’s restart:

  • Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register contends that the league has lowered its standard for its restart plan from “safe” to “safer than elsewhere” over the last few months.
  • Rich Hofmann of The Athletic spoke to some players participating in The Basketball Tournament about their experience so far playing in a “bubble” environment and the challenges that NBA players will face in the coming weeks and months. “After going through this for eight days, I really have my doubts about them doing it for three months,” former Temple standout Khalif Wyatt said “It’s a long time, first of all. These guys have families and kids that they won’t want to be away from for three months. We’ve tested a lot, so I know they’ll be testing a lot. I’m sure the NBA will make it super comfortable for them but it’ll just be really different. It’s just going to be hard.”
  • Jim Sergent and Mark Medina of USA Today take an interesting visual look at how the NBA’s Walt Disney World campus has taken shape, breaking down many of the protocols in place to ensure player safety.
  • Having obtained a memo from the league, Fred Katz of The Athletic details many of the off-the-court entertainment options available to players at the Disney campus, including boating, golfing, and bowling.
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4 thoughts on “Restart Notes: Testing, TBT, Campus, Entertainment

  1. Buckman

    Haberstroh must have something wrong because we are the greatest testing nation in the history of testing. Anyway, Silver saying safer than elsewhere while in one of the worst states for outbreaks sets a low bar.

  2. x%sure

    They should have gotten this over with sooner. Silver will be breaking his own standard. Technically the window will be closing for the NBA, busting into football season instead of avoiding it, busting into covid19 version 1.2 with overconfidence that a cure of some kind will show up. Nobody said it would (Trump aside).
    Dummy Silver should have started the restart before the pandemic shock news cycle ends but was scared to.

    I criticize so much, with Cavs denied, that I may as well not push for it anymore. It’s not May anymore (it’s May Not now lol)

  3. El Don

    Why on earth does so many people in the general public get tested for? What is the point? Why would they wanna know? I would not want to be tested, vaccinated or anythin’ to do with C-19, that’s for sure!

    • x%sure

      It does seem like a waste to use lab time to test for antibodies in addition to infection. I mean this activity should have justification but I cannot find it, esp since it cannot be proven that the body even uses antibodies to fight the SARS. This is not the site to get such information though… after all I am doubting that there even is any good reason.

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