The Kings have little to say about a TMZ report that Jabari Parker was playing tennis without a mask Saturday at a park in Chicago, writes Ali Thanawalla of NBC Sports. Parker revealed Wednesday that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
“We are aware of the report and are gathering additional information,” the team said in a prepared statement. “We have no further comment at this time.”
Parker told Ben Stinar of The Big Lead that he has completed his in-house quarantine and was social distancing during the tennis game (Twitter link). Many Kings players have returned to Sacramento to train, but Parker has stayed in his hometown of Chicago, and there’s no official word on when he will join the team, according to Thanawalla. He has appeared in just one game since being acquired from the Hawks at the trade deadline.
There’s more Kings news to pass along:
- Buddy Hield expects to “be fine by Monday” after testing positive this week, but he’ll have to wait before resuming basketball activities, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Under NBA guidelines, any player with COVID-19 must stop training for two weeks from the date of the first positive test or the resolution of viral symptoms. Hield said his positive test was last week, while teammate Alex Len tested positive on Tuesday.
- The Kings got a bad break in their Orlando schedule, Thanawalla observes in a separate story. Seven of the eight games were on their original slate, but a contest against the Pacers has been replaced by another showdown with the Lakers, who have the West’s best record and have already beaten Sacramento twice. However, that game is the season finale, so L.A. may have already wrapped up the No. 1 seed.
- Jason Jones of the Athletic offers a game-by-game analysis of Sacramento’s schedule as the franchise tries to secure a playoff berth for the first time since 2006. The Kings are three and a half games behind Memphis for the eighth spot and will need to finish ninth – and within four games of the eighth spot – to qualify for a play-in tournament.