When Boston’s Marcus Smart tested positive for the coronavirus, he chose to go public and serve as an example. Kevin Durant did the same thing, both men self-identified.
Christian Wood did not.
The promising Pistons big man tested positive but — like three Nets players and two Lakers — should have been protected by HIPAA from having his name go public. It did anyway. Wood is unhappy about that, Pistons coach Dwane Casey told Jackie McMullin of ESPN.
When the Pistons learned Wood had tested positive for the coronavirus, they were thoroughly briefed by the hospital regarding the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) laws, which protect the privacy of patients.
“That’s why we were so mystified when it leaked out,” Casey said of a report in The Athletic. “Christian was upset his name got out there. He didn’t release it. And the worst part was it got out before Christian even had a chance to tell his mom.
“I was very unhappy about that. I told our staff, ‘This is unprofessional. This can’t happen again.’ It was so unfair to our player.”
It was unfair to Wood, who was having a breakout season and didn’t want his name out everywhere as having tested positive. He has since been cleared and is fully recovered from the disease (he showed few symptoms anyway).
Wood struggled to find his footing in the NBA, having played on five teams in four years but was having a breakout year in Detroit. Wood is averaging 13.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, he is shooting 38.6 percent from three, and he is blocking almost a shot a night. Wood has a few teams expected to gamble on him this off-season and give him a healthy pay boost from his current minimum salary.
Which is why he might not have wanted his name out there as having tested positive. However, that should not (and will not) count against him whenever we have an NBA offseason.