NBA Security to Stand on Court Before, After Games to Enforce COVID-19 Rules

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2021

The court floor and league logo are shown after Game 3 of the NBA basketball Western Conference final between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The NBA will be placing security guards on the court before and after games to enforce the league's COVID-19 health and safety protocols, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Players are prohibited from doing their usual handshakes and greetings with other players on the court and are supposed to maintain a distance of six feet. It appears the security personnel will be close by to ensure the rules are being followed.

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association have continued to amend the protocols to adapt to what is a fluid situation.

A number of teams have had to play short-handed while their players were following the terms of the protocols, and 14 games have already been postponed through Tuesday.

Despite the ongoing issues, NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Jan. 10 the league isn't planning to suspend play temporarily.

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

According to Charania, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver held a meeting with a group of NBPA representatives, team governors, general managers, presidents and coaches on Dec. 30. He explained how January was "going to be the worst month" regarding the COVID-19 pandemic's impact.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

"We are optimistic about improvements in February ... after we get through the darkest days," Silver said.

During a conference with Sportico on Tuesday, Silver discussed the possibility of NBA players receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. While benefiting the players themselves, he also emphasized how it could influence more people to see the vaccine as a necessary cause.

"Several public health officials—and this is operating state by state right now—have suggested there would be a real public health benefit to getting some very high-profile African Americans vaccinated to demonstrate to the larger community that it is safe and effective," he said (via ESPN's Brian Windhorst).

Silver acknowledged, however, the NBA can't make vaccination mandatory without changing the current collective bargaining agreement.