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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Jess Frederick: Forget stopping the spread of COVID-19. The NBA just wants to prevent stagnation.

“It’s like rolling the dice at this stage.”

Chris Finch had an apt analysis of the current COVID-19 situation in the NBA ahead of the Timberwolves’ win over Dallas on Sunday.

Both the Lakers and Timberwolves recorded several players in the NBA’s health and safety protocols before the nationally televised game at Target Center last Friday.

Before that game all it guaranteed was that at least one player – and possibly more – competing that night was also carrying the virus, but had not yet tested positive, and everyone knew it.

Of course, in the days to come, both teams continued to lose players – as well as Lakers coach Frank Vogel – to protocol.

The Timberwolves are now down five players – Anthony Edwards, Taurean Prince, Josh Okogie, Jared Vanderbilt and Patrick Beverly. The latter two were added to health and safety protocols on Tuesday after playing an integral role in Minnesota’s win over Dallas.

The same will probably be true on Wednesday after the Timberwolves and the Mavericks meet again in Dallas on Tuesday.

“You can have a bunch of negatives and you can be fine, but there’s a bunch of positives lurking in a team, and three days later they bounce back,” Finch said. “It just is what it is.”

Players and coaches do not know every night who among their opponents or teammates is carrying the virus.

“Yeah, to me, it’s scary,” said Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, who lost her mother, Jackie, to COVID-19 in 2020. “It’s so nerve-wracking. I know how my house has reacted to everything.”

Towns said it is up to the players to be responsible and make the sacrifices.

The boys will have to see for themselves. The NBA wouldn’t do that for them.

During a global pandemic that is in the midst of another boom, you can’t even say that the NBA stands to see what happens. The league is going out of its way to ensure the show.

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The latest reported measures by the NBA include mandating teams retain a certain number of active players by signing replacement players for those laid out in health and safety protocols.

“I think it’s going to be handled in the best way it can, given the constraints that we’ve put to the test and under the game and protocol,” Finch said. “It’s only a matter of time, perhaps, for the numbers to flare up again for teams that didn’t have it.”

The NBA is currently identifying the people most infected in traveling petri dishes that are NBA teams, and is seeking to add more bodies to the contamination zone.

While the rest of the world is pleading with people to do their part to “stop the spread,” the NBA’s motto is clearly “stop the spread.”

Forget league-wide shutdowns. It has been made abundantly clear that this is not happening. In an effort to avoid the postponement altogether, the NBA is leaning backwards, and forcing its franchises to do the same.

Nevertheless, the Games are being rescheduled on a daily basis. The upcoming five-game Christmas Day schedule — one of the most lucrative on the NBA calendar — certainly helps spark the most recent requirements for roster minimums.

Because those Christmas Day games—three of which are broadcast on broadcast television—will be played in packed homes without interruption, even if they feature G-League versions of the teams you’re used to seeing.

Currently, big-name stars like Edwards, Kevin Durant, Trey Young, James Harden, Zach Lavin, Andrew Wiggins and D’Aron Fox are all in protocol. More is sure to follow.

None of this matters to the NBA, whose biggest regret at this point is likely the fact that it is testing for COVID-19 too often. For so long, the NBA has pretended to be an enlightened professional sports league. But when setbacks hit, the league is proving to be as dollar-driven as the rest.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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