Report: NBA putting security onto court to prevent hugs

Lakers star Anthony Davis and Warriors star Draymond Green
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA tightened its coronavirus protocols in significant ways, limiting players’ interactions with people outside their households and not involved in team activities.

The league also implemented trivial rules like prohibiting hugs, handshakes and daps. Fist and elbow bumps only. And the NBA is serious about that.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

After witnessing some opposing players disregarding new league rules against unnecessary contact on game nights, the NBA is moving team security into the midcourt area to dissuade violations that include hugging and handshakes, according to a league memo obtained by ESPN on Wednesday.

This is so silly.

Limiting interactions can only help prevent the spread of coronavirus. NBA players are already playing 5-on-5 basketball, breathing heavily near each other without wearing masks. How much will these new rules really reduce spread?

For that matter, how much will the spirit of these new rules really be followed? Will security guards forcibly break up post-game conversations? Will players just hold their postgame greeting in back halls, where ventilation might not be as good as the middle of the court?

Though the security guards will presumably be masked, the NBA is putting even more people into the area. Stricter enforcement probably could be better achieved through reviewing video, issuing warnings and eventually fining violators.