According to ESPN, two unidentified Los Angeles Lakers players have tested positive. “We learned today that two Lakers players have tested positive. Both players are currently asymptomatic, in quarantine and under the care of the team’s physician,” the Lakers explained in a statement. “All players and members of the Lakers staff are being asked to continue to observe self-quarantine and shelter at home guidelines, closely monitor their health, consult with their personal physicians and maintain constant communication with the team.”
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart also tested positive for COVID-19. He posted a video on Instagram revealing the news and he encouraged everyone to practice social distancing. “Young people listen up… quit hangin out in groups and being selfish. This is no joke. I was tested 5 days ago and the results came back tonight, which were positive,” he wrote in the caption to the video. “Ive been self quarantined since the test, thank goodness. COVID-19 must be taken w the highest of seriousness. I know it’s a #1 priority for our nations health experts, & we must get more testing ASAP!”
Smart went on to say that he doesn’t have any symptoms and he feels “great” but “younger generation in our country MUST self distance.”
Smart and the two Lakers athletes are the latest NBA players to test positive for the coronavirus, bringing the tally in the league to 14. Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons also tested positive although he’s yet to update his fans on social media as of Friday morning. Kevin Durant and three other Brooklyn Nets players also tested positive for the virus. He was the sole player to make his status known to the public telling Senior NBA reporter Shams Charania, “Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine. We’re going to get through this,” according to Charania’s tweet.
One member of the Denver Nuggets organization also tested positive along with three people within the Philadelphia 76ers organization.
Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz was the first player revealed to test positive for COVID-19 last week. He initially was called out for not taking coronavirus warnings seriously, considering he did things like touch the surfaces of microphones during a press conference to joke about the situation.
He eventually released an apology on his Instagram, writing, “I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of concern and support over the last 24 hours. I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis…mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment.” He continued, “The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse.”
Gobert finished by saying, “I am under great care and will fully recover. Thank you again for all your support. I encourage everyone to take all of the steps to stay safe and healthy. Love.”
Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz also announced that he tested positive with an announcement on Instagram last Thursday. “We are all learning more about the seriousness of this situation and hopefully people can continue to educate themselves and realize that they need to behave responsibly both for their own health and for the well being of those around them,” he wrote in the caption along with a picture of himself.
On Thursday, Mitchell participated in a challenge called #StayHomeFor to encourage people to social distance and stay at home as the coronavirus continues to spread. He posted a picture of himself holding a white board that read “I Stay Home for Nicole and Jordan.”
In the caption he wrote, “I’m staying at home for my mom @nicole3mitch and my sister @jordannmitchell lets all try our best to stop the spread of the Coronavirus together!!” Then he tagged Utah Jazz players Royce O’Neale and Jordan Clarkson, Golden State Warriors player Eric Paschall, Celtics player Jayson Tatum, Oklahoma City Thunder player Chris Paul and former NBA player Dwyane Wade to join him in the challenge.
As the NBA season has been suspended indefinitely, the NBA announced the launch of the NBA Together campaign, which focuses on four pillars: “Know the Facts, Acts of Caring, Expand Your Community and NBA Together Live.”
The campaign seeks to raise more than $50 million to support “people impacted by the coronavirus and community and healthcare organizations providing vital services around the world, which includes the more than $30 million financial commitment already made by NBA and WNBA teams and players to date.”