Before Sunday’s Clippers game in Phoenix, coach Tyronn Lue said that all seven employees would have to return to L.. A. The quarantine under the NBA’s coronavirus protocols is “healthy and feels pretty good, that’s the most important thing. ”
Nothing in the team’s preparation for the Suns game – a best 5-1 game in the league – has changed without members of the traveling staff participating, Lue added.
“We have enough staff that we need. No excuses, ”Lue said at a Zoom video conference with reporters. “The next man has been our mentality all season but we have the people we need to play the game.
« We continued what we did. Guys are prepared. Like I said, ready for tonight’s game. It’s not a distraction. When the year goes on, you never know what will happen. You have to be prepared. ”
Members of the clippers’ support staff – none of them are players, coaches or team managers – drove back to L in delivery trucks. . A. quarantine after a positive coronavirus test, according to Adrian Wojnarowski’s report for ESPN, which was confirmed by a league source.
The contact tracing resulted in eight people attending a New Year’s Eve meal in a presidential suite at the team hotel in Salt Lake City, where, according to Wojnarowski, “masks were worn at times”.
According to ESPN, the quarantined group does not include players, coaches and team management. https: // t. co / DsqSPjPSkB
Lue said he didn’t know enough to comment on an activity that predicted the positive test and subsequent quarantines.
« I’m staying away, » he said. « I’m not exactly sure what really happened because I wasn’t there or I wouldn’t be able to practice the game tonight. « . I can’t tell you everything that exactly happened so I’m not sure.
He added, « This coronavirus is so sensitive that you can touch a doorknob and get coronavirus. We really don’t know how that happened. As I said, the most important thing is that everyone is comfortable and safe. ”
Lue has stressed the need for adaptability this season, which is being played during a pandemic that hit more than 800 as of Saturday. 000 people in the L had infected. A. Region and killed more than 10. 000 in L. . A. County since the pandemic began.
Prior to the start of the season, the NBA released a 135-page log book to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and Lawrence Frank, president of the basketball operations team, said the organization takes everything seriously.
« Look, there is great concern, but we are very confident that the NBA has taken all possible precautions, » said Frank. « There are only so many variables that you can control. I think the personal and team responsibilities we all take on because we understand how contagious and how deadly it can be if not taken seriously. I think the NBA has definitely done its part, we’re going to do our part from an organizational point of view and try to control as many variables as possible without losing sight of how contagious and dangerous this virus is. ”
So far, no Clippers have had to miss a regular season game due to the protocols. The Lakers’ Alex Caruso missed December. 28 competition against the Portland Trail Blazers and the three games since then as the first player on that team to sit out due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel said ahead of his team’s game on Sunday that his organization was thinking about what would happen if a member of his team or employees tested positive or came into close contact with someone who was out and about.
« You are all but forced to be left behind until this quarantine period is up unless you are close enough to the situation you described to physically drive home, » Vogel said. « You could potentially be stuck in a city for a while after the team leaves, and that’s just trying to start an NBA season during a pandemic. « . ”
During a pre-season game by Lakers-Clippers on Dec.. . Thirteen, five people – including Clippers point guard Reggie Jackson and assistant coach Chauncey Billups – missed the game at the Staples Center, all with an « excused absence » according to the league’s health and safety protocols.
« We always want to be careful, » said Lue on Sunday. “We have to follow the protocols. We know this is a scary time right now, we don’t take this lightly, and we just want to make sure we do everything we can to follow the protocol. ”
The veteran striker has missed all of the team’s action this season – the first time since signing a four-year $ 64 million deal this off-season – with a pain in his right knee.
« I hope he can come back whenever he comes back, » said Lue. « But he’s made a lot of progress and hopefully we’ll see him soon, but I can’t give you a day or date. ”
-Kyle Goon contributed to this report.
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