The number of coronavirus cases are sadly on the rise, both among the general population and within the ranks of the NBA, but thus far the New Orleans Pelicans have managed to stay out of the headlines.
The Jazz, Pistons, Nets, Nuggets, 76ers, Lakers and Celtics have all reported that at least one member of their respective organizations is infected with the COVID-19 virus. Considering that four of those teams were revealed for the first time yesterday, we should expect others to soon join the list as testing becomes more widespread and results follow; however, the overall situation is likely to remain fluid because not all franchises are under pressure to pursue immediate discovery.
The New Orleans Pelicans have yet to administer any COVID-19 testing, according to a source.— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) March 20, 2020
Team’s full traveling party has not shown symptoms and team is committed to not having anyone tested in order to allow those who truly need tests to get them first.
There’s been great debate about sports professionals and other famous people jumping to the head of the line so it makes perfect sense for New Orleans to not request a sizable amount of rare test kits and needlessly soak up the valuable time of overwhelmed laboratories. The United States is in the process of scrambling to provide large-scale testing to a growing population that’s displaying flu-like symptoms. With no regular member of the Pelicans’ traveling party showing any similar evidence as of yet, it’s simply the right decision to not hinder the collective effort to slow the spread of the dangerous virus.
Another reason for confidence in the organization’s current stance is that proper steps were implemented before and after Rudy Gobert was announced as the first player to test positive for COVID-19. According to a post by Nicolo Melli on his Instagram account, the Pelicans were educated on the coronavirus and how each individual can minimize the risk of contracting the disease. They have also adhered to social distancing and practiced good cleanliness.
Nicolo Melli says on Instagram that Pelicans did good job of educating team on viruses before Gobert tested positive. Also says precautions being adhered to like limiting workouts to 3 people at most in gym + everything gets disinfected after use (balls to exercise equipment). pic.twitter.com/TfRXsbzRYA— Oleh Kosel (@OlehKosel) March 17, 2020
According to an article published by ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne yesterday, the NBA deserves a lot of credit for attempting to get ahead of the coronavirus before it morphed into a pandemic. The league office started doing their research in January and issued their first memo of 16 to date at the start of February.
The latest memorandum involves the league directing teams to close their practice and training facilities to players and staff until further notice as things are expected to get worse before they get better. While it’s anyone’s guess as to when players will be allowed re-entry into team facilities again — let alone appear in basketball contests that count, self-quarantine is the required game plan for now, both for players and fans alike.
Experts believe a long road remains ahead, but the New Orleans Pelicans have circumvented trouble well for now and have thus decided to take the moral high ground. Applaud that, but more importantly, heed the lesson. There’s way too many around this nation solely thinking about their own well-being than thy neighbors during these difficult times.