Three days after the NBA halted play on March 11 when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, the Nets announced four of their players also had tested positive. Among them was star Kevin Durant, who was the only Net to identify himself on social media as having the disease. No NBA team has reported more positive tests, but general manager Sean Marks said on Wednesday that all four players now are symptom-free.
“So far, everybody is healthy,” Marks said in a conference call with media covering the Nets. “The guys that tested positive have cleared their 14 days self-isolation and quarantine. They still are practicing social distancing like the rest of us. They are cleared like everybody, like the rest of the team and the staff right now.”
The Nets’ last game before the shutdown was a victory over the Lakers on March 10 in Los Angeles. They then flew to San Francisco, where they were expecting to face the Warriors in a game with no fans before the league announced a halt to play. Two members of the Lakers also subsequently tested positive.
“The entire travel party, Nets organization right now, basketball operations department is symptom-free,” said Marks, who added that he doesn’t foresee the need for anyone to be re-tested. “I would say this is affecting a much bigger circle. I don’t know that any of us don’t know somebody who isn’t directly affected or has come down with it . . . It’s definitely affecting everybody.”
Marks could not say whether Barclays Center, the Nets’ home arena, might be pressed into service as the site for a field hospital, but he noted that owner Joseph Tsai, the co-founder and chief executive of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has been praised by Gov. Andrew Cuomo for “helping with all the New York hospitals and sourcing the certified high-quality PPEs (personal protective equipment]. I know they are having conversations with all these governmental agencies.”