As the NBA tries to maneuver an increase in positive COVID-19 tests among players, coaches and team staff members, the league is discussing the possibility of changing its tactics to this virus, as first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Currently, there are 36 players in the NBA who are isolated away from their teams due to positive COVID-19 tests, while two head coaches are expected to miss several games for the same reason. Because of this, the NBA and the players union are discussing the idea of testing players -- vaccinated or not --more on game days and practice days, with no required testing on off days, per The Athletic's Shams Charania.
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"Now that we are seeing breakthroughs, we believe the need to test more often," Roberts said via The Athletic. "The notion of not testing, I get that people in society are saying, 'I didn't even know I'm sick.' I get the sentiment. I can't get my brain around (how) we're not going to test just because we don't want to know.
Do we continue to test, because we believed before that we needed to know? Or do we stop because we think, 'Well, being positive doesn't mean our players can't perform and make other people sick.'"
So far, the NBA has only had to postpone two games, both for the Chicago Bulls who currently have 10 players in health and safety protocols. But as more players test positive for the virus, there's a possibility that the league will have to postpone games down the line if teams aren't able to have the required eight players needed to compete.
The NBA has increased its testing amongst players since Thanksgiving, and league executives have said that they expect to see a spike in cases through Christmas and New Year's as players gather with larger groups of people for the holidays. Already one player has tested positive for the new COVID-19 Omicron variant, which could spread even further as more players catch the virus.