Usually, on the first day of training camp, optimism is in order. Players and coaches talk about the first steps towards what we hope to be a championship.
This was the case in the NBA on Tuesday, but in a very moderate way.
For now, these are individual sessions – one player and one coach per basket, in an America where cases of coronavirus continue to accumulate heavily.
“I’m quite concerned,” admitted Sixers coach Doc Rivers. I don’t know if we will succeed [à présenter une saison]. »
He’s probably not the only one worried.
In Washington, coach Scott Brooks said the Wizards already have a player who has tested positive.
On the Orlando side, coach Steve Clifford has said Mo Bamba, who tested positive months ago, is not at all ready to return to the game.
Bob Myers, the Warriors general manager, said there are two positive cases in the team.
Golden State won’t be holding real practice until Monday, just six days before preseason games start.
There will likely be more positive tests in the League. Probably a lot.
Pointing out that the virus is causing serious trouble for college football and the NFL when it comes to postponed games, Rivers adds that in the NBA, an important player or two on the sidelines for awhile can tip a club. .
“In football, it’s easy to be deprived of three or four guys. In basketball, that’s a big problem, said Rivers. We play three or four games a week. One or two big players who miss ten days or more, that can get you out of the race for the playoffs. “
NBA players and coaches are tested daily; this will probably be the case throughout the campaign.
The company BioReference is responsible for this campaign, as was the case in the bubble at Disney.
Protocols sent to the teams suggest that in several cases a positive test would mean an absence of at least 12 days.
There was no positive test in the bubble. But in this return to reality, with travel, hotels and planes, it will be up to individuals and clubs to do the right thing, said Gregg Popovich, Spurs coach.
“People come and go, so it will be a lot more difficult,” he said. We will have to be even more disciplined. “
Some clubs will be able to practice five-on-five starting Friday, but most of them will be Sunday.
Injury will be a concern, so will conditioning. But the daily tests and the results could cast a lot of shadow.
“As a coach you want question marks to be more basketball related,” Rivers said. I think that for all the coaches at the moment, the concerns are above all about something else. “
Par Tim Reynolds, Associated Press