The Washington Wizards’ game against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, Dec. 21 has been postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak within the Nets’ roster. The NBA made the announcement earlier on Sunday afternoon after initial reports by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Shams Charania of The Athletic.
As of Sunday, there are no Wizards players under the NBA’s coronavirus health and safety protocols. However, 10 Nets players are under protocols. They are:
- LaMarcus Aldridge
- DeAndre Bembry
- Bruce Brown
- Jevon Carter
- Kevin Durant
- Kyrie Irving
- James Harden
- James Johnson
- Paul Millsap
- Day’Ron Sharpe
A rescheduled date will be announced later.
The NBA is currently experiencing a league-wide surge of coronavirus cases, in part due to relaxed rules in the United States and in part due to the rise of the more-transmissible and vaccine-resistant/evading Delta and Omicron variants.
The rise of the omicron variant, in particular, has forced other countries to take stricter measures. The Netherlands’ national government (they don’t have a federal government like the USA) has done the most extreme example in the Western world, where a strict lockdown is in effect today through Jan. 14, though professional sports games can go on without fans. And in Canada, the Ontario provincial government has limited capacity for Raptors and other sports teams’ games to 50 percent.
These types of restrictions are probably not happening in the USA, especially a Dutch-style lockdown. But the bottom line is that the coronavirus is scaring the world again, and we are not any more immune to it than Dutch or Canadian people are. So let me bring this full circle.
The NBA has had 10 or more players go into protocol per day for most of the last seven days. And the NBA is doing whatever it takes to prevent a league-wide suspension in play — which could include signing any replacement players they can last minute if teams get decimated by the coronavirus.
Before last Tuesday, the single-day high for NBA players entering H&S protocols: five.— Baxter Holmes (@Baxter) December 19, 2021
But there have now been double-digit additions for 4 straight days — and 5 of the last 6 days overall.
As of this writing, 64 players and a coach have entered protocols in the past 6 days.
NEWS: In an effort to hopefully avoid game disruptions, the NBA and NBPA are discussing a plan that would require teams decimated by COVID to sign additional replacement players. ESPN story with @wojespn: https://t.co/mgELSC27jG— Baxter Holmes (@Baxter) December 18, 2021
I’m happy that for now, the Wizards aren’t directly affected by the coronavirus on their roster — as of 3:44 p.m. ET. At the same time, it seems that the league needs to hit the emergency brake sooner rather than later to slow the spread or at least the perception of it.