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Report: NBA GMs Worried About Older Coaches, Staff in Restart Amid COVID-19

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2020

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12: An NBA logo is shown at the 5th Avenue NBA store on March 12, 2020 in New York City. The National Basketball Association said they would suspend all games after player Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

Some NBA general managers are reportedly concerned about putting older head coaches and team personnel in harm's way should the 2019-20 NBA season resume amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to ESPN's Baxter Holmes, one GM said they would feel uneasy about older coaches and staffers attending games, while another GM laid out some of the limitations that could be in place should the season start back up: "Based on all the information that we have today, probably people over 60 with preexisting conditions can't go, for sure, no matter what their titles are. Whether it's a father of the star player or whether it's the general manager of the team, they can't go there."

The season has been suspended since March 11 because of COVID-19, and it remains unclear when or if the suspension will be lifted.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that people 65 and older and those with preexisting conditions are at higher risk of serious illness or death due to the coronavirus.

While the NBA is still operating under the assumption that the season will be completed at some point, many questions remain about when that would be and under what conditions games would be played.

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Per ESPN's Tim Bontemps and Brian Windhorst, a "bubble" concept has been discussed, in which all players, coaches and other essential personnel for games would live in hotels for an extended period of time and all games would be played at the same venue.

Such a plan may require players to be away from their families for as long as three months, and the NBA would also need access to a large amount of COVID-19 tests to ensure the virus doesn't spread within the bubble.

Teams would have to determine their essential personnel, and one of the GMs said an area in which clubs wouldn't "want to skimp on is the medical" personnel.

Six of the NBA's 30 head coaches are at least 60 years old: Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks, Mike D'Antoni of the Houston Rockets, Dwane Casey of the Detroit Pistons, Terry Stotts of the Portland Trail Blazers and Alvin Gentry of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Utah Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant, Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood and New York Knicks owner James Dolan have had the coronavirus.

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