The NBA’s COVID-19 situation is rapidly spiraling out of control now.
Since the Sixers guard was forced to isolate from his teammates due to a positive test that came back in the first quarter of Philadelphia’s game against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, the league’s COVID-19 situation has only grown more dire.
Unfortunately, it may extend back even further than that if you connect the dots:
January 3: Wizards play Nets
January 5: Kevin Durant has to quarantine
January 6: Wizards play 76ers
January 7: Several 76ers players quarantine
January 8: Wizards play Celtics
January 9: Jayson Tatum has to quarantine
— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) January 9, 2021
After playing the Washington Wizards on Friday, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and five other members of the Boston Celtics were forced to quarantine ahead of their Sunday matchup with the Miami Heat.
Now, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Wizards star Bradley Beal will be forced to miss Saturday’s game against the Heat due to health and safety protocols and contact tracing from his exposure to Tatum.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 9, 2021
In the words of that ill-fated dog in its burning house, “This is fine.”
Except, the NBA’s situation really ISN’T fine
It was bad enough the Sixers-Nets game went on as scheduled once Curry’s positive test result returned, but the NBA has been making a mockery of trying to keep its players safe in an unrelenting effort to get through the first half of its 72-game schedule as planned.
On Saturday, the Sixers were forced to play against the Denver Nuggets with only seven players, listing Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons as “out” at the last minute with injuries and effectively punting on the game. Tyrese Maxey may have been fun, putting up a career-high 39 points in the double-digit loss, but that was the only bright spot to a game that wasn’t worth watching for either fanbase, let alone casual NBA fans.
The 76ers could only field seven healthy players due to injury woes and health and safety protocols, but the league went ahead and played the game anyway. The Celtics’ injury report is a novel, and now the Wizards may be in danger of their own COVID outbreak.
The Heat play both the Celtics and Wizards back-to-back this weekend, and the Phoenix Suns face the Wizards on Monday. That means there’s an incredibly high risk of this situation getting worse unless games are rescheduled or postponed imminently. The league left itself room to reschedule games by only putting out the first half of its schedule; how many more cases do we need to see before commissioner Adam Silver actually does something about it?