Yet another sport may see yet another inconvenient but prudent safety measure get in the way of gameplay, as we're hearing a report that the NBA is considering a one- to two-week pause in the season due to COVID-19 infections.
Officially, the NBA said on Sunday there were no plans to take a pause, despite mounting COVID cases among players, and contact tracing processes that were making it difficult for teams to find enough eligible players to play in games.
The Boston Celtics' All-NBA Star Jayson Tatum is currently on the injured list for 10 to 14 days due to apparent COVID exposure — and the team played without three other player on Friday as well, as Yahoo Sports reports.
As KRON4's Jason Dumas now reports, there is a discussion about a 7- to 14-day pause in the season, after a couple of Monday's and Tuesday's games have already been postponed. A matchup between the Mavericks and Pelicans tonight is postponed, and so is a game between the Bulls and Celtics set for Tuesday. A game between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics was already postponed on Sunday.
The NBA is reportedly hoping to avoid any pause, but pressure may mount if more COVID cases appear.
"We anticipated that there would be game postponements this season and planned the schedule accordingly," NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN in a statement on Sunday. "There are no plans to pause the season, and we will continue to be guided by our medical experts and health and safety protocols."
It's unclear at this point just how many NBA players have been infected or potentially exposed to the virus. (In Tatum's case, the team hasn't even said whether he tested positive, or someone close to him had.) As CBS Sports reports, "dozens" have been put on injured lists, and at least one team, the Philadelphia 76ers, had to suit up an injured player in order to have enough eligible players to go forward with a Saturday game against the Denver Nuggets.
The Golden State Warriors have not had a positive COVID case since before the season opener, when two players (including Draymond Green), tested positive on December 1 and delayed the team's training camp.
Photo: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics makes a pass against the Washington Wizards at TD Garden on January 8, 2021 in Boston. Following this game, Tatum was sidelined for possible COVID exposure and so was at least one of the Wizards. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)