Report: NBA Playoff Team Had 4 Positive COVID-19 Tests in Recent Weeks

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 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 (COVID-19). (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

One Western Conference playoff team reportedly had four positive tests for COVID-19 in recent weeks.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski did not identify the squad but noted teams are "bracing for significant numbers of positive tests" as players return to their home markets. Players are scheduled to undergo coronavirus testing this week; those who test positive will be subject to quarantine.

Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic reported the Phoenix Suns shut down voluntary workouts at their team facility after two players tested positive for COVID-19. The Suns are one of the 22 teams traveling to Orlando, Florida, for the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season in July, but they are not currently in the playoffs, so it's fair to assume they are not the team from the ESPN report.

The NBA is already facing pushback from players regarding their return, with some citing safety or family concerns and others not wanting to distract from social justice issues. Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans and Portland Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza have already informed their respective teams they do not plan on participating in the season's restart.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving and Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard have been among the most outspoken opponents of the Orlando bubble over social justice issues. 

"I don't support going into Orlando," Irving said on a conference call of about 80 players earlier this month, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. "I'm not with the systematic racism and the bulls--t. … Something smells a little fishy. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are targeted as Black men every day we wake up."

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Howard told Charania that Irving is "100 percent correct" in his assessment.

Any influx of positive coronavirus tests would likely raise further concerns among players.   

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