Heat's Bam Adebayo Worried over NBA Return 'Because We Have to Touch Each Other'

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMay 29, 2020

Miami Heat forward Bam Adebayo stands on the court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

The NBA is in the thick of negotiations to resume the 2019-20 season amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Miami Heat All-Star center Bam Adebayo has concerns.

"Some players like Steve Nash used to lick his hands," Adebayo told the Associated Press. "Some people still have that in their routine. Some people wipe the sweat off their face and put it on the ball. It's going to be weird how they try to control it, because we have to touch each other. And then you have to worry about the family members that we may be touching."

The league is reportedly working through health and safety protocols before finalizing a plan to return to play: 

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

NBA is making progress on a plan to allow a limited number of family members to join players inside the Orlando bubble, per @wojespn, @ramonashelburne https://t.co/R2aP6owpPN

ESPN's Malika Andrews reported May 20 that the Minnesota Timberwolves have partnered with the Mayo Clinic to spearhead "a leaguewide study that aims to establish what percentage of NBA players, coaches, executives and staff have developed antibodies to the coronavirus."

Earlier Thursday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said on his The Woj Pod that players have approached their respective team executives with questions about how exactly testing will be handled (h/t Lakers Daily):

"Will a superstar player be treated the same if he tests positive as if me as a role player do? Will there be a double standard there, based on the level of star and how he impacts the playoffs? ... Certainly this isn't like a role player can go in the playoffs and say, 'Hey are you going to officiate me the same way you're going to officiate LeBron [James] or Kawhi [Leonard]?' The answer probably is no. But in this case, the answer has to be yes. And there is no getting around that."

Commissioner Adam Silver is scheduled to speak with the Board of Directors Friday, but negotiations are expected to continue after that:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

While NBA’s Board of Governors meet with Adam Silver on Friday, there’s no current expectation for a decision on a finalized return-to-play plan to emerge from the session, sources tell ESPN. Talks on incorporating the three most serious plans remain ongoing with NBPA and teams.

The NBA announced the suspension of this season March 11.

The 53-12 Milwaukee Bucks, 46-18 Toronto Raptors and 43-21 Boston Celtics were the only Eastern Conference teams to clinch a playoff berth before the hiatus, but the 41-24 Heat were looming in fourth place.

Adebayo was averaging a career-high 16.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.2 steals across 65 starts.