False-positive tests — or, just an inconclusive one — have been a serious concern for teams in the NBA’s restart campus/bubble in Orlando. The NBA has to take any potential positive test very seriously — it must maintain the integrity of the bubble — but a key player could miss a game or more because of the flawed test.
That almost happened to the Sacramento Kings — a player spent two days in quarantine after having an inconclusive test. He has since been cleared, reports Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears of ESPN.
Sources told ESPN that the player had to quarantine for two days after the inconclusive test — or “false positive” — Wednesday, but successive negative results Thursday and Friday allowed for his availability against the Spurs on Friday.
The system worked as it should have: this player had a false positive, he was quarantined, but when he tested negative the next two days he was cleared, and he did not miss one game in the process. The concern from teams is now that games are underway and guys are playing every other day this process will cost a missed game. What if it’s a key rotation player during a playoff series?
It’s likely there will be another false positive, it’s the nature of testing to have a small percentage of them.
So far, there have been no true positives inside the NBA’s bubble, a good sign for the league and all the protocols put in place to create a safe environment. While the NBA’s bubble plan has worked so far, games run through October and there is still a chance the virus finds its way into the NBA’s campus. The league is hoping the bubble will hold, but nothing in 2020 works out quite the way people envision.