Lakers Announce 2 Players Tested Positive for Coronavirus

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2020

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 13:  A closeup shot of the Los Angeles Lakers logo on their respective uniform during a game against the Miami Heat on December 13, 2019 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Two Los Angeles Lakers have tested positive for the coronavirus, the team announced Thursday:

"Following four Brooklyn Nets players testing positive for COVID-19, because Los Angeles Lakers’ players were exposed to them during our game against the Nets on March 10, our team physicians and public health officials recommended coronavirus testing for the players.

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

Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times noted 14 players were tested Wednesday. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium added, "The team may test the remaining players who did not take tests Wednesday morning."

Though neither of the players who tested positive were identified, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported center JaVale McGee's results came back negative:

The NBA has been at the forefront of much of the sports world's reaction after Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert tested positive. The league canceled the game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder on March 11 and suspended the 2019-20 season shortly after that.

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Gobert was the first known NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus, but teammate Donovan Mitchell, Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood and four members of the Brooklyn Nets, including Kevin Durant, also did in the subsequent days.

What's more, the Philadelphia 76ers announced three individuals tested positive after players, coaches and staff members were tested.

Part of Philadelphia's announcement clarified the tests were purchased privately, which mirrored the released statements from the Thunder and Nets that said they did not use public tests from resources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and instead used alternative methods such as paying for them through private companies.

The fact there has been widespread testing for NBA players and entire teams has drawn some criticism, especially as much of the country dealt with a lack of readily available testing during a pandemic.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was among those who raised concern, tweeting about the Nets, "We wish them a speedy recovery. But, with all due respect, an entire NBA team should NOT get tested for COVID-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested. Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick."

National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts responded to such criticism by pointing the finger at the federal government. 

"There's nothing irresponsible—if you've got that information [that you've been exposed]—about trying to get the tests," Roberts told Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. "The problem that more of us can't get the tests—and I'm not apologetic about saying it—in my view, that rests at the foot of the federal government. They were responsible for making sure we were protected in that regard, and I think they failed."

The testing for those associated with the NBA has continued since then, and multiple Lakers are the latest to test positive.


Listen to Lakers shooting guard Danny Green on the latest episode of The Full 48 with Bleacher Report's Howard Beck.