The NBA continues to work on finalizing the details surrounding their 22-team restart plan. ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that the league is expected to ask team personnel for their personal medical histories in order to assess individuals’ risk of serious illness if the coronavirus spreads in the league’s bubble environment. A panel of physicians will review the medical histories and make recommendations, but it’s unclear if they will have the power to bar individuals from making the trip to Walt Disney World Resort:
It is unclear what authority, if any, that panel might have in prohibiting any personnel from attending the league’s restart — or placing limitations upon them — but there is some anxiety about such limitations among teams, sources said.
Individuals 65 and over are at higher risk of serious illness from the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three current coaches fall into that age range: the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, the Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni and the Pelicans’ Alvin Gentry. The league is contact with their teams about the disadvantages they’d face if the coaches are limited in their roles at the NBA’s restart:
Limitations to Popovich, D’Antoni and Gentry could leave their teams at a significant competitive disadvantage in Orlando. Executives with the three franchises and elders of the National Basketball Coaches Association have been in consistent contact with the league office on the matter, sources said.
D’Antoni and Gentry have been publicly and privately frustrated with the possibility that they could be left off the team’s bench — or even left out of the bubble — and fear a decision to limit or omit them could be the end to their careers.
You can read more about the league’s efforts to review medical records here.