The NBA is still in the middle of its season shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. But as the pandemic continues to spread across the country, there is at least some good news coming out concerning the NBA players who recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, an NBA insider has some valuable insight into what the league might look like once it starts back up again. Although, a certain LeBron James likely won’t be pleased with this bit of NBA 2020 news.
SBOTOP is here to provide all the key updates around the league on the coronavirus situation.
COVID-19-Positive NBA Players Make Full Recovery
The list of NBA players who tested positive for COVID-19 reached double-digits last week. But luckily, those players are one by one recovering from the illness.
Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood has apparently made a “full recovery” from the illness, his agent revealed a couple of days ago.
The Utah Jazz duo of Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell — the first players to test positive for the coronavirus and brought about the immediate postponement of the league — were also cleared.
Meanwhile, Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens says guard Marcus Smart is doing “great” while dealing with COVID-19.
Wood, Gobert, Mitchell, and Smart are four of the five known NBA players who have tested positive for COVID-19; the other is Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant. Three other unknown Nets players have tested positive, as well as two Los Angeles Lakers players.
It’s certainly promising news that the first three known players to contract the coronavirus are now fully cleared. But considering how much fitter NBA players are compared to the rest of the population, it should come as no surprise that they would come out of this illness unscathed.
Almost ‘100 per cent’ chance NBA resumes without fans
It remains to be seen whether the NBA season will resume following the coronavirus outbreak. But if it does, there is an almost ‘100 per cent’ chance it will be without fans watching in the stands.
That’s according to ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst, who claims the NBA will most likely follow the plan the Chinese Basketball Association is using to get its season back on track. That plan also involves keeping players in an isolated location to reduce the risk of infection.
However, one player staunchly against that idea is LeBron James. The Lakers superstar has made it clear that he does not fancy playing in an empty arena, saying there is “no excitement” without fans present.
But given the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, having no fans present in the arenas seems to be the most logical choice if the NBA is to finish their season anytime soon.
The Lakers are the top title favourites according to the NBA 2020 chances, so despite James’ dislike for that scenario, he will just have to come to grips with it if he wants to play for a championship.
“If LeBron James wants to play for a championship this year he is going to have to reset his expectations,” Windhorst said. “That’s what China is looking at — clustering teams in a bubble where they can be protected. LeBron is the voice of the rest of the league. He’s speaking with emotion the way he sees it.
“The reality is, if the NBA comes back, at least in the short term, it’s going to be in empty arenas or empty aircraft hangars where they just put down a court. … That’s something players are going to have to start getting their minds around.”
Knicks owner, NBA analyst test positive
While there have been no new confirmed cases among NBA players, there are a couple of notable NBA personalities who have tested positive for COVID-19. Those two are New York Knicks owner James Dolan and NBA analyst Doris Burke.
New York has by far the most total coronavirus cases out of all US cities with over 50,000, which is nearly half the total of the entire country. Although, Dolan is not yet exhibiting any symptoms and has been in self-isolation, according to the team’s announcement.
Burke, who is a TV colour commentator for ESPN, also tested positive for the virus, but she only learned of the diagnosis eight days after her test. She has since gone over two weeks without showing symptoms, which is a promising sign that she will make a full recovery as well.
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