I have dedicated many pixels to the coronavirus pandemic over the past year and how the Washington Wizards and the NBA will be affected by it. Most of those pieces were hypothetical because most of their players were not infected with COVID-19 or forced to quarantine because of a case — until earlier this week.
The Wizards postponed least two games due to the fact that at least half of the team is quarantined while contact tracing takes place. At least three players have the coronavirus. It’s possible, if not likely that more players will test positive in the next day or two because the virus often takes several days to incubate in those who are exposed.
Some of our writers have their thoughts on the Wizards being forced to miss games in the short term. How do they feel about the situation, which seems to be getting worse with each passing day?
Here they are below.
Alan Jenkins: Yeah... can’t say I’m super surprised about the Wizards postponing games, especially when four straight teams had positive COVID-19 cases after they played the Wizards.
It was just a matter of time before the Wizards were affected. Once it was decided that the NBA wasn’t going to do another bubble, we all knew that this could happen... and it’s happening.
John Heiser: I feel like this news hits me like a lot of news lately. On one hand it was inevitable. But on the other, how did we not do better than this?!
To be honest, I never dove into the NBA’s 2020-21 coronavirus protocols. I didn’t realize players could have guests in their rooms while on the road. Eating at some league-approved restaurants was allowed. Seeing the tighter restrictions implemented recently it is hard to fathom how they ever thought the previous standards were good enough.
Marcus Atkinson: t’s an unfortunate series of events that has led to this. I think you alluded to this before Albert, but this whole idea of having a season now is just not a good idea.
The NBA is probably the worst sport to play during this pandemic when there is no bubble. All it takes is for one person to have the virus and it be undetected before it becomes widespread because of the frequent travel NBA teams do. And it’s exacerbated because many different teams end up playing one another.
I remember back in March how it was explained that if the NBA continued to play, that it’s possible the virus could spread throughout the entire league in five days based on how the schedule was made. The threat is not much different now.
With that said, I hope all the affected players will make a full recovery. Unfortunately I don’t see much changing with this. The NBA for obvious financial reasons does not want to stop playing. And though a bubble is safer, in reality, the players will probably not want to do it. Many players were isolated from the outside world for an extended period of time last summer and I’m not sure if there is the appetite to do so once again.