Hawks vs. Suns Postponed Because of PHX's COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives against Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

The NBA announced Wednesday's scheduled game between the Atlanta Hawks and Phoenix Suns has been postponed because COVID-19 contact tracing protocols have left the Suns without the minimum eight players needed to play.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported details about the decision:

Two other games from Wednesday's slate have been postponed: Utah Jazz at Washington Wizards and Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics.

The NBA has called off seven contests so far during the 2020-21 season, including six over the past four days amid a surge of coronavirus cases around the league.

As of Sunday, the NBA had no plans to consider temporarily halting the campaign.

"We anticipated that there would be game postponements this season and planned the schedule accordingly," league spokesperson Mike Bass told Wojnarowski. "There are no plans to pause the season, and we will continue to be guided by our medical experts and health and safety protocols."

The NBA relayed updated protocols to teams and players Tuesday, which included not leaving the team hotel for non-team activities and an elimination of visitors to hotel rooms. In addition, the league wants limited interaction between opposing players before and after games.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard George Hill spoke out against the new guidelines.

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"I'm a grown man. I'm gonna do what I want to do. If I want to go see my family, I'm going to go see my family," Hill told reporters. "They can't tell me I have to stay in a room 24/7. If it's that serious, then maybe we shouldn't be playing. But it's life; no one's going to be able to just cancel their whole life for this game."

He added: "We can sweat 48 minutes with a guy next to us for 48 minutes, but we can't talk to them afterwards? It makes no sense."

For now, there are still seven NBA games scheduled to take place Wednesday, and the entire five-game slate for Thursday remains intact.