Two Lakers players test positive for coronavirus

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NBA players union Executive Director Michelle Roberts said Wednesday to expect more NBA players would test positive for the coronavirus.

That didn’t take long.

Two Lakers have tested positive for the virus, the team confirmed Thursday (Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news). Players were tested Wednesday in the wake of the announcement that members of the Brooklyn Nets — who the Lakers played the Tuesday night before the league was shut down — tested positive.

The Lakers players were not identified. We know it is not JaVale McGee, who is relatively high risk for a professional athlete because he has asthma.

“We learned today that two Lakers players have tested positive,” the team said in a statement. “Both players are currently asymptomatic, in quarantine and under the care of the team’s physician.

“All players and members of the Lakers staff are being asked to continue to observe self-quarantine and shelter at home guidelines, closely monitor their health, consult with their personal physicians and maintain constant communication with the team.”

There is no way to know if the Lakers’ players caught the virus during the Brooklyn game, with this fast-moving strain it could have come from a number of other possibilities.

Throw in the positive test of Boston’s Marcus Smart and that makes 10 players and seven franchises (if you count basketball operations staff) who have someone test positive for the coronavirus. Most have been asymptomatic, but a few have shown the impact of COVID-19.

The NBA remains suspended, with games likely on hold until June at the earliest and the playoffs potentially stretching into August. The Lakers sit as the top seed in the West and a serious title contender, when (if?) play resumes.