Several NBA general managers are expressing concern over the safety of their coaching staffs and other personnel if the league resumes its season, writes Baxter Holmes of ESPN. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that the coronavirus presents higher risk factors to older adults and people with underlying health conditions, which will factor into decisions on who will be allowed into a “bubble” environment.
“Based on all the information that we have today, probably people over 60 with preexisting conditions can’t go, for sure, no matter what their titles are,” one general manager told Holmes. “Whether it’s a father of the star player or whether it’s the general manager of the team, they can’t go there.”
The NBA is considering a bubble concept, with all its games taking place in a central location such as Las Vegas or Orlando. We learned this week that players and coaches will be permitted to bring their families with them for however long it takes to finish the season. The executives Holmes talked to agreed that once the concept gets closer to reality, teams will be forced to make difficult decisions on who qualifies as essential.
“The one area you don’t want to skimp on is the medical,” a GM said. “The coaching part of it, you could probably get by with a head coach, that’s it.”
There’s more coronavirus news to pass along:
- Former NBA player Jeremy Lin tells Steve Serby of The New York Post that life in China means constant testing for the virus as he waits for the CBA season to resume. “I got tested before quarantine and after quarantine,” Lin said, “and honestly, anywhere you go any time, every restaurant, every mall, everything everywhere, every time I enter my apartment, I get my temperature checked, too. They’re constantly monitoring.”
- LeBron James has the most to lose if the season can’t be completed, writes Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times. James has the Lakers on top of the Western Conference with a 49-14 record, and at age 35 he may not have a better chance to win another ring. Woike lists the Bucks, Clippers, Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni and the fans as other potential losers.
- In case you missed it, some practice facilities can reopen Friday, but at least half of the league’s teams are in states where stay-at-home orders are still in effect.