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Report: Luka Doncic, NBA Players Who Left US Will Have to Quarantine Upon Return

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2020

FILE - In this March 11, 2020, file photo, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) handles the ball against the Denver Nuggets during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas. Video games have become a go-to hobby for millions self-isolating around the world, and athletes from preps to pros have eagerly grabbed the controls. Stars like Ben Simmons and Luka Doncic have turned to gaming to stay connected with fans.(AP Photo/Ron Jenkins, File)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

Some NBA players are getting back to work Friday as a number of team facilities reopen under strict guidelines, but those who left the country or even the state during the coronavirus pandemic reportedly must take extra steps before reporting to their teams.

According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, players who left their teams' markets will have to quarantine upon their return before being permitted to go to the facilities.

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic is among the players in that predicament, as he flew home to Slovenia after the NBA suspended play March 11.

An anonymous agent who represents several players who have left their teams' states or the country suggested to Shelburne that they won't fly back for the sole purpose of going to the practice facility: "It took two to three weeks for everything to unwind when we shut down. It'll take at least that long for guys to get back to town. And they're not going to start flying back until they hear the league is starting up again."

A general manager for a Western Conference team noted many players likely won't take the steps needed to go to the facilities until there is a clear plan in place to progress toward a training camp and the resumption of the season: "If this was tied to a return to play, you'd see something of a different attitude."

From the players' perspective, a Western Conference starter told Shelburne that many feel it's still "not safe" to go to team facilities given all the protocols that have to be followed.

Cleveland.com's Chris Fedor reported Wednesday that players who arrive at the Cleveland Cavaliers' facility must get their temperature taken and then answer questions about how they're feeling, where they've been and who they've been around.

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No more than four players will be allowed in a facility at a time, per NBA guidelines, and anyone inside the facility must wear a face mask at all times with the exception of players during physical activity.

While the reopening of some facilities is the first of many steps toward resuming the 2019-20 NBA season, there are still plenty of hoops the league must jump through logistically, including getting players back into the country and ensuring they are healthy before allowing them to join their teams.

If players are unwilling to return to their markets until the NBA announces a concrete plan for a return to play, then it will likely take several weeks beyond that announcement for the league, teams and players to be ready to play.

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