If Tuesday’s announcement that two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant had tested positive for the coronavirus came as a surprise, then prepare for many more in the coming days.
Durant was just one of a total of four players on the Brooklyn Nets that tested positive for COVID-19 according to a statement issued by the team.
“Four Brooklyn Nets players have tested positive for COVID-19 virus,” read the statement. “Of the four, one player is exhibiting symptoms, while there are asymptomatic. All four players are presently isolated and under the care of team physicians.”
The Nets did not identify any of the players, and the other three besides Durant are still unknown as of the publication of this story.
The Nets are recommending that anybody who came into contact with the team and its players, including their recent opponents, to work closely with health officials on reporting.
“The organization is currently notifying anyone who has had contact with the players, including recent opponents, and is working closely with state and local health authorities on reporting,” read the statement. “All players and members of the Nets travel party are being asked to remain isolated, closely monitor their health and maintain constant communication with team medical staff.”
The last game the Nets played was on Tuesday, March 10, in Los Angeles at Staples Center against the Los Angeles Lakers. Durant sat on the bench in street clothes during that game and was seen talking and interacting with several players and celebrity fans sitting courtside.
According to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers front office had a conference call with all the players on Tuesday afternoon, and informed them they would be tested on Wednesday, and that they should self-quarantine for 14 days.
The Nets team was tested for the virus by a private company, which the team paid for out of pocket after they returned from a road trip that ended with the season being cancelled last Thursday before Brooklyn was scheduled to play a game in San Francisco against the Golden State Warriors in front of no fans.
It is not known at the moment where the Lakers will be getting their tests from, or if they will also hire a private company to conduct the tests. NBC LA reached out to the team for confirmation of the COVID-19 testing taking place on Wednesday, but did not hear back.
Lakers’ forward Jared Dudley expressed his own frustration on Twitter once the word that Durant and three others had tested positive went public.
The four Brooklyn nets that have tested positive for the coronavirus join Utah Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, as well as Detroit Pistons center Christian Wood, as the seven confirmed cases of the COVID-19 amongst NBA players.
It’s likely that many of 30 teams in the NBA are in a similar situation as the Lakers are and have yet to be tested. If that’s the case, expect many more known positive test among NBA players to be announced in the coming days or weeks.
The NBA season remains suspended for the foreseeable future with no timetable for when it could return or when games will be rescheduled.
According to ESPN, ex-United States surgeon general Vivek Murthy, spoke with the NBA’s Board of Governors on a call on Tuesday, providing updated information on the coronavirus pandemic, its potential impact on the U.S., and a hope that the season could resume at some point before July.
The Lakers were in first place in the Western Conference, and just two games behind the Milwaukee Bucks in the loss column for the best record in the NBA when the league was suspended last Wednesday.
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