Report: Some NBA Staffs Uncomfortable About Restart amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 30, 2020

Denver Nuggets basketballs sit on court in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec.14, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

As the NBA approaches its season restart in Orlando, several staff members around the league have indicated they might not be comfortable participating amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to Baxter Holmes of ESPN. 

Some of those concerned are in higher-risk groups, either due to age or underlying health issues.

General managers have reportedly told staffers they aren't under pressure to attend.

NBA personnel are scheduled to report to Orlando in July, but several teams are already dealing with outbreaks of COVID-19.

The Brooklyn Nets facility was closed for several days after Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan tested positive for the coronavirus, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Denver Nuggets also closed their practice facility due to an outbreak, per Wojnarowski.

Although most players are young and healthy enough to avoid the life-threatening effects of the disease, older coaches could be at a greater risk.

According to the Center for Disease Control, eight of 10 deaths in the United States are people who were at least 65 years old.

Three NBA head coaches are at least 65, including New Orleans Pelicans' Alvin Gentry, who confirmed he would still be in Orlando despite the risk.

"My plans right now are to be with the team and I'm looking forward to it," Gentry said, per Jim Eichenhofer of the team's official site. "As the season was put on hiatus, we were playing really good basketball. Hopefully we can get back to that."

Some lower-level staff members are reportedly concerned about missing the rest of the season because it could cost them their jobs, but general managers are trying to assure them their positions would be safe.

"You've got the rest of your life...don't be worried about how it's going to look," one GM said, per Holmes.