Marcus Smart

Pistons big Christian Wood
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Agent: Pistons big Christian Wood ‘fully recovered’ from coronavirus

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Pistons big Christian Wood tested positive for coronavirus 11 days ago.

Now comes good news.

Dana Gauruder for the Detroit Free Press:

Wood, the only Detroit Pistons player known to have contracted the virus, is “feeling great and fully recovered,” according to his agent, Adam Pensack.

A source familiar with the situation said Wood has to pass a few medical tests and is expected to be cleared Thursday.

Rod Beard of The Detroit News:

In order to be cleared, a person needs two negative tests, spaced at least 24 hours apart. Wood passed the initial test Wednesday and will take the second test on Thursday, a league source told The Detroit News.

The 17 Pistons tests were done through a private lab and were not taken from the allotment of public testing kits. In the Pistons’ cases, tests were only given if the person had direct contact with a person who had tested positive and presented with symptoms or had an underlying condition that made them more susceptible.

The source of coronavirus tests for celebrities, including NBA players, has become an issue. The real shame is the shortage of tests. But the Pistons are trying to get in front of complaints about favorable treatment.

Considering return-to-play options, the NBA must obviously evaluate how quickly players recover from coronavirus. Wood’s progress is great news.

But coronavirus is still spreading – both within and outside the NBA. Celtics guard Marcus Smart, two Lakers players and three members of the 76ers organization tested positive with results announced in the last week. Unless everyone involved in the league is quarantining, it’s impossible to rule out more new cases.

Former NBA player Jason Collins tests positive for coronavirus

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Jason Collins, a 13-year NBA veteran who has been out of the league for five years, announced he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

He made the announcement himself on Twitter.

Collins is not counted among the 14 cases of COVID-19 tied to the NBA. So far, 10 players have tested positive — four from Brooklyn including Kevin Durant, both Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell from Utah, Marcus Smart from the Celtics, Christian Wood from the Pistons, plus two members of the Los Angeles Lakers — in addition to one member of the basketball operations staff in Denver and three staffers from Philadelphia.

Collins, back in 2014 while he was with the Brooklyn Nets, became the first active NBA player to come out as gay during his career. He currently works extensively with NBA Cares, the league’s charitable arm.

Jason’s twin brother Jaron is an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors but has not shown symptoms nor tested positive for the virus at this point.

Adam Silver: ‘It’s too soon to tell what the economic impact will be’

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver finds himself almost constantly looking at financial numbers and projections. And like the rest of a world that is dealing with the seismic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, he still isn’t sure how bad things will get.

Silver said Saturday the league is considering all options — best-case, worst-case and countless ideas in between — as it tries to come to grips with this new normal. But definitive answers on any front are in short supply.

“It’s too soon to tell what the economic impact will be,” Silver said. “We’ve been analyzing multiple scenarios on a daily if not hourly basis and we’ll continue to review the financial implications. Obviously, it’s not a pretty picture but everyone, regardless of what industry they work in, is in the same boat.”

Saturday marked the 10th full day of the NBA’s shutdown, a stoppage that has cost the league 75 games and counting so far, a total that will reach triple digits on Wednesday and will eventually get to 259 on April 15 — the day the regular season was supposed to end. Play isn’t going to resume by then. The financial losses will be massive and will obviously just keep growing if this season cannot resume or if next season is affected.

“Adam is obviously cautious, cautiously optimistic,” Cleveland forward Kevin Love said earlier in the week. “We don’t know what the future holds but the NBA has been through a lot, we’ve seen a lot and I think we’ll be incredibly resilient. It just might take time.”

Players who are due to get their next paycheck on April 1 will get them. Whether those players will get their April 15 check is in some question; the league can exercise a clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that allows it to take back 1.08% of each player’s salary for each game missed in certain times — like war, or in this case, a pandemic.

That clause has not been exercised yet since, officially anyway, no game has been canceled.

“We’re exploring all options to resume our season if and when it is safe to do so,” Silver said. “Nothing is off the table.”

Besides, there are other bridges to cross first. The NBA — which was the first major U.S. pro league to say it would play games without fans and the first league to suspend its season once All-Star center Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive — has been extremely vocal in trying to get its massive fan base to take social distancing and other preventative measures seriously.

“Our focus right now is doing all that we can to support, engage and educate the general public in response to this pandemic,” Silver said. “We are also making sure that we are prepared to resume the season if and when it becomes safe for all concerned.”

The league has asked teams for building availability dates through the end of August, an indicator that this season — if it resumes — may stretch deep into the summer.

So far, there are 14 people within the NBA community, including at least 10 players, known to have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those positive tests, seven became known publicly on Thursday and Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics revealed that he has the virus.

“Unfortunately, based on everything we know, significantly more positive cases in our league were inevitable,” Silver said. “So, Thursday’s results did not come as a huge surprise and just like everyone else, we’re just trying to take each day as it comes.”

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

As of Saturday, there were more 19,000 known positive cases in the U.S. and more than 250 deaths blamed on the virus. Globally, there have been nearly 300,000 cases diagnosed so far with nearly 12,000 deaths. The virus first exploded in mainland China, where the NBA has offices and about 200 employees.

What workers in China went through helped the league quickly grasp some sort of understanding of the severity. Silver made the decision to shut down the league before any public health experts advised the NBA to take that step. He even sounded the alarm publicly in mid-February at NBA All-Star weekend in Chicago — saying then it was “a major national, if not global, health crisis” that was taking place.

“We’ve learned a lot from our China office,” Silver said, noting that meetings have been of the virtual variety there for several weeks now.

Silver’s sixth full season as commissioner of the NBA started with the league getting into a major rift with China. His mentor and NBA Commissioner emeritus David Stern died two months later. Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash less than a month after that.

Now he is dealing with the biggest crisis of them all — a pandemic, affecting and threatening virtually every corner of the planet.

“It’s been a challenging season,” Silver said. “For all of us.”

Boston’s Marcus Smart says he tested positive for coronavirus

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Now there are 10 NBA players known to have tested positive for the novel coronavirus that has shut down both the league and American society.

Boston’s Marcus Smart self-identified as the Celtic who tested positive for the disease, taking to Twitter to say he is doing well.

Hopefully, his message is heeded by those who need to stay home to help slow the spread of this disease and “flatten the curve.”

Th,e Celtics had released a statement minutes before saying a player had tested positive but not naming him. They said players got tested after exposure to a known positive case.

Smart, 26, is in his sixth NBA season and is the heart of Boston’s defense, plus he has become a three-point threat on the other end of the court.

The other players who have tested positive for the virus are Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell of Utah, Christian Wood of Detroit, Kevin Durant and three other members of the Brooklyn Nets, two members of the Lakers, and now Smart.

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.