It's been over two months since the NBA announced the postponement of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the league is still no closer to knowing when or if the season will resume. Last week, commissioner Adam Silver and the board of governors held a call where there was momentum building toward resuming play. One of the biggest takeaways from that call was the notion that theagain if players, coaches or staffers test positive for coronavirus.
There are still a significant number of questions regarding what testing would even look like for the league going forward. But Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr., wants the league to be cognizant of players with preexisting health conditions, like him, who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19.
Nance has Crohn's disease, and while the therapy he uses allows him to play in the NBA, it also makes him an immunocompromised individual who could have a more difficult time fighting off coronavirus.
"I would hope there would be an understanding [from the league] if someone didn't feel comfortable coming back that'd you get a pass," Nance said via ESPN. "Just because you may look like the picture of health, some people have issues you can't see."
After the league went on hiatus due to Rudy Gobert testing positive for coronavirus, Nance said he was "absolutely terrified," because the Cavaliers had just played Gobert and the Utah Jazz a week prior to the date it when it was confirmed that he contracted it. Nance had already consulted physicians prior to the league shutting down, and was debating whether he should stay home while the Cavaliers were about to go on a five-game road trip. But before he could make his decision the league postponed the rest of the season.
In the two months since Gobert's initial test results, Nance said he's spent time learning more about the virus and talked to several gastrointestinal specialists to help him understand the risk it poses. While his fears have been quelled a bit, Nance said he's still scared and doesn't want to risk getting it because of his preexisting health condition.
"I'm paying super close attention to everything that is going on," Nance said. "I was watching the German soccer league over the weekend and seeing how the players were interacting with each other and still seeing them make a lot of contact. I can't even imagine being on one of those calls trying to hash this out. There's so many ways to spread this."
Nance bringing light to the fact that there are players with preexisting health conditions who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 is just another aspect the NBA has to consider in its plans to restart the season.