The NBA and National Basketball Players Association received a harsh reminder of what a season outside of a "bubble format" could look like for athletes and teams.
In a joint statement released on Wednesday, the NBA and NBPA confirmed that 48 of 546 players tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of training camp sessions between Nov. 24-30. Players were tested when they returned to club markets.
All NBA personnel who test positive for the coronavirus must isolate away from official activities until cleared per rules previously agreed upon by the league and union. The NBA and NBPA did not disclose the teams that returned positive results in Wednesday's statement, but reports surfaced on Tuesday that the Golden State Warriors were temporarily delaying the start of training camp after at least two of their players tested positive.
The NBA halted the 2019-20 campaign on March 11 because of the pandemic and then completed the season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Teams will host opponents for in-market games for at least the start of the 2020-21 season, and the Utah Jazz are among clubs planning on welcoming fans at a reduced arena capacity.
The Baltimore Ravens recently endured the largest COVID-19 outbreak of the NFL season that caused that league to postpone a game between Baltimore and the Pittsburgh Steelers on three occasions. Unlike pro football teams, NBA sides play several times each week, so such an outbreak would inevitably lead to a major headache and drastic rescheduling for the Association.